The Telangana government is revising the compensation money paid to victims of wild animal attacks. The newly constituted 10-member committee for mitigating human-animal conflict in the state will revise the rates and recommend measures to avoid human deaths due to conflict with animals.
The committee formed earlier in March held its first meeting on Saturday and will submit its recommendations to the state government within the three months, said a release from the Telangana Forest Department.
The committee pointed out the rates of payment of compensation to the victims of wild animal attack in cases like human death, human injury, cattle kill and crop loss was last revised seven years ago. It noted that the compensation rates paid in other southern states and in Maharashtra was higher when compared with the compensation rates in Telangana. At present, Telangana pays Rs 5 lakh per victim, while neighbouring states like Maharashtra pay Rs 10 lakh, and Kerala, Rs 7 lakh per victim, the Forest Department spokesperson told TNM.
The Minister for Forests, Law and Endowments, Allola Indrakaran Reddy, who chaired the meeting, requested the committee to go through the comparative rates of other states and propose a revision of rates.
The revised rates will be discussed and finalised in the next meeting of the committee. The committee also discussed the guidelines to be framed for payment of compensation for each category of conflict.
The committee will also recommend measures to avoid the human deaths due to tiger attacks. It discussed the reasons behind wild animals straying into the human settlements and identified factors responsible such as habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation and cattle grazing.
The increase in incidents of human-wildlife conflict is being attributed to human-induced pressures which have greatly reduced wildlife habitat and availability of resources like food and water.
The committee also discussed measures to reduce human-animal conflicts through restoration and enrichment of wildlife habitat, and ensuring water availability all through the year. Plans will also be made to regulate the collection of minor forest produce, and introduce rotational grazing by opening certain areas for grazing once in three years.