Discontent is brewing among farmers living on the edge of the forests of Wayanad over the government’s alleged apathy in carrying out effective projects to alleviate human-animal conflict.
Attacks on crops and attacks from wildlife such as elephant, gaur, monkey and various species of deer have increased dramatically in the district, said TC Joseph, chair of the Wayanad Action Committee to Prevent Wildlife Attack, a farmers’ organization. Although all the animals loot the crops, only the elephants loot the crops at the edge of the forest after destroying the electric fences, he added.
Although the three isolated defenses of the Begur Forest Range under the North Wayanad Forestry Division posed a serious threat to the farming community of Thirunelly grama panchayat, authorities have yet to take action to address the problem, a he declared.
Stray elephants not only destroy crops but also attack people, said Joseph, adding that as many as 84 people have been killed in animal attacks in 41 years.
One of the defenders tried to charge a farmer at Randam’s gate in Kattikulam a few days ago, and he narrowly escaped the attack. Another elephant destroyed a Forest Department treehouse, he said. There is a strong demand to transfer the animals to the Muthanga elephant camp after they have been tranquilized.
The case of farmers at the forest edge in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and South Wayanad Forestry Division is no different. Farmers in the Vadakkanad area under the shrine staged an indefinite commotion outside Sulthan Bathery’s director’s office three years ago. The government had promised that a 2.5 crore project would be executed to install a Mankulam-style impact protection rope fence on the 4.5 km stretch to the edge of the forest to address the issue. Farmers are now considering resuming the unrest as the government broke its promise.
Although successive governments have implemented measures such as digging trenches, erecting electric fences, railway fences, and building rock walls at the edge of the district’s forests, the issue has yet to be addressed. addressed.
The most effective measure has been the placement of a protective rope fence, as it could to some extent prevent the entry of wildlife such as tiger, elephant, gaur and various species of deer in neighboring farmers’ properties, said Joseph. Moreover, the fence was also profitable, he added.