BENGALURU: Farmers from Hettur hobli of Sakleshpur taluk have submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy for rehabilitation and relocation of eight villages falling in the path of elephant corridors. As many as 500 farmers from these villages have consented to give up 3,000 acres of fertile land for development of an elephant corridor.
Former MLC Patel Shivram, who submitted the memorandum, said the CM assured to resolve the issue by calling a meeting of officials concerned and farmers from the affected villages. “I have raised this issue time and again in the Legislative Council. The elephant corridor is the need of the hour. Farmers need an alternative safe place to move out of their villages permanently,” Shivaram said.
The relocation of eight villages located on the fringes of Western Ghats — Bisle, Mavinoor, Boranamane, Yattahalla, Kaginere, Balehalla, Yadakumeri and Bajimane Estate in Sakleshpur taluk — has been promised by successive governments in the past, but has remained only on paper. Human-elephant conflicts are common in these villages and farmers suffer huge property and crop losses. Many farmers have even abandoned growing crops due to frequent elephant raids.
“When farmers are ready to give up their lands, where is the problem? Thanks to mini-hydel projects, laying of oil and gas pipelines, construction of Hemavati, Harangi and Kattepura dams and mining activities, elephants started migrating to our area, and the problem has become acute of late,” said Devaraj Atthihalli, farmer and president, Hassan Wildlife Society. He owns 2.5 acres of fertile land, but has now completely stopped farming.Capture and translocation by tranquilizing the elephants is technically impossible in the area and translocating 35-40 elephants is not feasible.