Efforts on to confine elephants toa permanent enclosure: Minister
Minister for Forest and Environment Balineni Srinivasa Reddy has said the inter-State coordination committee formed by the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha governments to curb the elephant menace in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts proposed to confine the pachyderms to a permanent enclosure instead of driving them back and forth between the two States whenever human beings were attacked and properties and crops destroyed.
Replying to a question by YSR Congress MLAs V. Kalavathi (Palakonda) and Reddy Shanti (Pathapatnam) on crop loss being caused by elephants and compensation paid to the peasants, in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, Mr. Srinivasa Reddy said the wild animals were wandering on the borders between the Lakheri wildlife sanctuary in Odisha and Pathapatnam, Palakonda, Salur and other hilly areas of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram.
‘Operation Gaja’ had a limited impact as the focus was on scaring away the elephants in the wake of incidents. Elephant-proof trenches were dug to trap them but to no avail. At the same time, water facility was being provided and solar fencing erected in vulnerable areas. The Forest Department was keeping a watch on the elephants with the help of 30 trackers in Srikakulam district and 18 in Vizianagaram, the Minister stated.