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TN forms expert committee to study on man-elephant conflict in Gudalur

- August 3, 2022

Chennai, Aug 3 (BPNS)

Tamil Nadu state government has formed an expert committee to study the conflict between human beings and elephants in the Gudalur area and to come up with holistic solutions.

It may be noted that many people lost their lives to elephant attacks at O- Valley in Gudallur in the month of May and June 2022. The committee constituted by the government is headed by  D. Venkatesh who is the Conservator of Forests and Field Director of Madumalai Tiger Reserve and Kommu Omkaram, the District Forest Officer as member.

The other members are B. Ramakrishnan, Assistant Professor in wildlife biology at the government arts college in Udhagamandalam,  D. Boominathan, landscape coordinator, The World Wild Life Fund for Nature (WWF- India), Tarsh Thekkekara, Managing Trustee of the Shola Trust, and Dr. K. Ramesh, Senior Scientist, Wild Life Institute of India.

The committee has already commenced discussions with the local people including local tea plantation owners, local residents, and tea plantation owners to understand the negative human-elephant interactions. The committee also is hearing the demands of the local community to install physical barriers to prevent the entry of elephants into the human settlements.

A member of the committee while speaking to BPNS said, “ We are meeting all the stakeholders and undertaking discussions. Whether physical barriers are to be put up to prevent elephants from entering the human settlements is a policy decision and we will take all the inputs.”

The committee has decided to first study the landscape and properly understand the problems leading to the foraying of elephants into human settlements and then only take a call on the physical barriers.