Govt plans hike in compensation for death caused by animals

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (UNI) Asserting that the government has initiated various steps to reduce man-animal conflict, Minister of State for Forests and Environment S Reghupathy today said there was a proposal to increase the amount of compensation to Rs 10 lakh for the families of those killed by animals.

The highest compensation of Rs 10 lakh was being given to deaths caused by elephants. A similar level of compensation was being contemplated in the case of deaths caused by other animals also, he said, replying to questions on wildlife corridors in the Lok Sabha.

He said the man-animal conflict, especially involving elephants and leopards, was caused by loss of animal habitat and increase in human population. "We are taking measures to address these issues." Mr Reghupathy clarified that his ministry had no proposal to directly purchase private lands for establishing wildlife corridors in states.

He said the Kerala government had submitted a proposal seeking to establish elephant corridors in the state with a total projected expenditure of Rs 7.89 crore. It had identified Brahmagiri-Tirunelli, Periyar, Pakranthalam and Pallivayal-Tattur corridors.

Mr Reghupathy said the proposal was to construct corridors along the traditiional elephant routes.

He said the proposal could not be sanctioned by his ministry due to budgetary constraints. However, it had sought additional fund for elephant corridors from the Planning Commission.

Noted animal activist Maneka Gandhi asked the minister to take immediate steps to save the black buck which was at the mercy of poachers in Abohar. She suggested that the government acquire 2000 acres of land in Abohar and construct a sanctuary for the black buck to save the animal from extinction.

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