Dharmapuri farmers seek lasting solution to elephant intrusions

Speaking to TNIE, R Kannan from Marandahalli said, “There is elephant movement in our vicinity everyday and it has been the case for the past year.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only(File photo)

DHARMAPURI: Farmers in Palacode are distressed by the increasing elephant movement in the forest areas close to their farmlands.
Dozens of elephants are present in the forests near Palacode, Pennagaram, and Hogenakkal. In the past years, there have been daily reports of elephants intruding into revenue lands raiding crops, and damaging trees. Hence, the farmers have urged the forest department to come up with a permanent solution for their elephant problem.

Speaking to TNIE, R Kannan from Marandahalli said, “There is elephant movement in our vicinity everyday and it has been the case for the past year. Elephants consume the crops and fruits we produce, and camp in the area for several days before leaving, crippling the livelihood of local farmers. The forest department should come up with a permanent solution. More elephant-proof trenches and solar-powered electric fences would be effective in keeping them away.”

Another farmer, P Muthulingam said, “We need an electric fence to be set up across the forest border to keep wild elephants from entering the farmlands. While the forest department drives away elephants, it is an extremely difficult and risky process. No one can direct an elephant’s movement so keeping them way through an electric fence would protect our crops.”

“Last year two acres of my paddy field were raided by elephants and I got a compensation of Rs 32,000. I could have made three times more if the paddy were harvested,” he added.

When TNIE spoke to Palacode Forest Ranger P Natraj, he said, “Everyday for the past 15 months we have been involved in regular elephant drives across Palacode in areas like Seengaduu, Kumaraguru, Marandhallai, and others. Our main aim is to de-escalate human-wildlife conflict. It is a challenging task and so far our drives have been effective. In the past 15 months we have paid more than Rs 70 lakh in compensation. Each settlement is made within 15 days of the incident.”

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com