Karnataka high court has set up a task force to help in resolving the man-animal conflict in the state, responding to a suo motu public interest litigation seeking steps to prevent elephant deaths in Karnataka.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen set up the task force, which will be headed by Dr Raman Sukumar of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Other members of the taskforce are Ajay Desai, member of Project Elephant, Sharat Chandra Lele, sociologist and member of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Dr CH Basappanavar, retired forest officer, Dr SS Bisht, former director of Project Elephant, N Ravindranath Kamath and BR Deepak, advocates, and MK Madhusudhan, elephant expert and Green Oscar awardee. The division bench of the high court asked the taskforce to present its report on April 15.
The division bench gave the following directions to the task force:
• Look into the entire gamut of issues related to human-elephant conflict in Karnataka with special reference to Hasan–Kodagu area and make recommendations to bring about a more effective conservation and management regime for the species and its habitat in Karnataka with focus on participation of local communities.
• Study the composition of the elephant population in Kattipura area and its movement pattern.• Examine a report on feasibility of providing a proper corridor or habitat, if need be, by acquiring private land and recovering the encroached land within the periphery of forest lands.
• Consider the need or feasibility of translocation of elephants or local inhabitants from the relevant habitats.
• Examine and report on the present status or steps taken by forest authorities in respect of electric fencing and trenching or any other corridor formation within and outside the forests in Hassan–Kodagu area and whether such steps are ill-advised or improperly implemented. • Examine and report on the achievements made or present status of or implementation of short- and long-term comprehensive action plan submitted to this court.