State told to contain jumbo menace in Dindigul

The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to continue with the measures initiated by it to prevent the menace caused by stray of wild elephants at several villages in Dindigul district.
State told to contain jumbo menace in Dindigul
Madras HC

Chennai

A division bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad gave the direction while disposing of a Public Interest Litigation filed by AR Gokulakrishnan of Kodaikanal highlighting the menace caused by jumbos not only to the crops but also to lives of farmers.

The bench on observing that the authorities have filed their counter affidavit, bringing on record the measures taken to ensure that the elephant menace was reduced, said, “Perusal of the counter affidavit shows that the state government was aware of the elephant menace. It is true that due to increase in pollution, there is pressure on the forest and this pressure has resulted in reduction of forest cover which has led to an increase of man-animal conflict.”

“Counter affidavit would show that the state government is taking steps to counter the problem. Counter affidavit is taken on record. Writ petition is disposed of with a direction to the state government to continue with the steps taken to prevent the menace of elephants,” the bench added.

The petitioner had contended that during 2006-2015 the elephants spent their time moving from Parappalar towards Kannivadi and even to Athoor Dam (water source for Dindigul). However, in the year 2016, they entered the coffee growing areas of lower Palani hills. At the upper Palani hills, they were periodically visiting several villages.

The plea also noted that the elephants were starving at Annamalai Tiger Reserve above Amaravathi Dam, due to infestation of thorny tree species, like Nattu Karuvel, Odai Vel and Kudai Vela Maran, Seemai Karuvel on the buffer zone of the elephant corridor. All the plants were imported from Africa and America. However, they were not edible food for elephants and other animals and they hurt the elephants. Following this, they moved towards Kudhirayar, which turned out to be a good source for food that suits it and abundant water resources. They were inhabited by humans resulting in life-threatening conflicts. The elephants caused menace to people by entering their fields and even attacking them.

The state has not taken adequate measures to prevent the menace by elephants, the petitioner had submitted.

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