Mumbai: State and district committee set up to reduce man-animal conflict

The Maharashtra Government has established an Inter-Divisional State Level and District Level Committees for Coordination of Human-Wildlife Conflicts. The state level committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary to suggest steps to curb rising incidents of human-wildlife conflict. At the district level, the committee has been formed which is headed by the district collector.

These committees have been formed as per the decision taken at the 60th National Wildlife Standing Committee held on January 5 this year. The committee had asked all states to issue an advisory to address the instances of human-wildlife conflict. This was also aimed at curbing the incidents of damages to the properties and crops by animals.

The state government has argued that there is a need to focus on public awareness, coexistence and capacity building which is the need of the hour to reduce man-animal conflict. The revenue and forest department’s special executive officer Siddhesh Savardekar has issued notification on the establishment of state and district level committees to make recommendations to address man-animal conflict.

The state level committee will review the manpower, infrastructure and related needs and will issue directives to various departments on measures including an awareness campaign to curb man animal conflict. The committee will issue guidelines and make available funds for the payment of compensation necessary following the damage caused to the property and crops.

The committee will also issue guidelines to control poaching and hunting which may cause man animal conflict. The committee will also recommend measures for capacity building in the concerned departments for the implementation of guidelines.

On the other hand, the district level committee will coordinate with various departments to curb incidents of poaching and hunting by strangulation and laying poisonous products in the forests. The committee is mandated with the timely payment of compensation to the affected people. The committee will take assistance of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to curb offences by increasing intelligence gathering and pursuing cases in the courts.

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