Bangalore, Oct 15 (UNI) About 40 people were killed every year in Karnataka in wildlife attacks and the issue of man-animal conflict needs to be tackled soon, Governor Rameshwar Thakur said today.
Speaking on the occasion of 53rd Wildlife Week celebrations here, he said, ''on an average, about 35-40 persons were killed every year in Karnataka due to wildlife attacks and the State pays around Rs two crore per year as wildlife compensation. This issue has to be tackled immediately both on short term and long term basis to prevent antagonising people against wildlife conservation.'' He said all required steps to protect man from attacks of wild animals and the lives of the wildlife being threatened by man's greedy needs should be taken with equal emphasis. Rehabilitation of people, especially the tribals, who were evacuated from National Park areas, had to be done on a voluntary and priority basis.
''These displaced people have to be provided with the best kind of benefits including land, both for dwelling and farming. The Supreme Court has also been very strict on this count,'' he said.
Extending full support to the cause of conservation of the wildlife and forest areas, the Governor called upon the people to do their best for the survival of the wildlife and forests, as survival of man-kind was dependent on the survival of these elements.
The private airline, Air Deccan MD G R Gopinath, speaking on the occasion, called for including environment and wildlife in the curricula at the university levels. ''Ecological sustainability and being environment friendly is a great challenge and younger generation should be taught to look into it for overall benefit of the mankind,'' he added.
Legislative Assembly Speaker Krishna called for strict implementation of law to punish the poachers who were posing threat to wildlife and forest reserve in the State. ''If the 'Wildlife Week' was observed as a ritual it will not help. Law should be implemented strictly'', he added.