BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister Basravraj Bommai on Wednesday said that the state government has taken the elephant menace seriously and has constituted the Elephant Task Force to deal with the wild elephants. While speaking to reporters at Halebeedu Helipad, he said the elephants which had come here following drought for many years have not returned, and other reasons for the jumbo attacks are human beings entering forests for some reasons and climate change.
CM Bommai said that a task force has been constituted for launching the operation regularly. "It will be very difficult to disperse the herd of elephants. Since it is not correct to launch an operation after any single incident, the task force has been constituted to launch the operation regularly. Each task force is provided with training, vehicles, equipment and also established the control room," he said.
"The job of the special force members is to patrol the elephant-infested areas regularly and push back them into forests. In case the wild elephants are more in number, then members of all the forces must join together and send back the jumbos into forests," he said. He further said that the task force has been given directions to launch this operation for at least 10 days.
"A sum of Rs 100 crore has been earmarked in this year's budget for this purpose. A new kind of fence is being put up in Bandipur National park. The Elephant Corridor will be fully protected," he added. While talking about the government jobs for the victims' families, Bommai said a solatium of Rs 15 lakh is being given to those killed in wild elephant attacks. Also, the idea of providing job to a member of the deceased family will be seriously considered.
The Karnataka CM also reacted to the pressure cooker blast and said that 18 sleeper cells were identified and sent to Tihar jail. "Once it was regular for the sleeper cells to come after undergoing training in neighbouring states and on the international borders. But, after Narendra Modi became PM all such activities have stopped. Similar incidents used to happen in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai but now all this has stopped."
CM Bommai also said that a special vigil has been kept on the sleeper cells in the coastal areas. "As the Home Minister in the previous government, I had asked the DGPs of all the southern states to work in coordination as most of them cross the state borders after committing the crime. The exchange of information is vital to check the sleeper cells."
He said he will once again write to the Chief Ministers of all states.