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The government will be urged to expedite the installation of rail track fence or barricades in areas prone to human-elephant conflict outside the forest periphery in Mysuru and Kodagu.

The Forest Department has also been asked to submit a detailed proposal and the imperatives of taking up the barricading work on a priority basis in Kodagu and surrounding regions so as to mitigate such conflicts.

Human-animal conflict with specific reference to elephants was a subject of discussion at the District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee held here on Thursday. Mysuru MP Pratap Simha said that he will take up the rail track fencing issue with the district in-charge Ministers of Mysuru and Kodagu and approach the government for additional funds.

Nagarahole National Park Director Mahesh Kumar, who apprised the monitoring committee meeting of the progress regarding rail track fencing, said that the national park has a peripheral boundary of nearly 250 km out of which fencing has been completed so far on a stretch of 50 km.

He said in places around H.D. Kote where the rail track fencing has been completed, the number of conflict cases with respect to elephants has reduced. He said installation of rail track fences was a permanent solution and 15 km of fencing will be taken up around Nagarahole this financial year.

Mr. Simha said that Kodagu and Mysuru were among the two districts with high number of human-elephant conflicts and hence steps should be in place to reduce it. The MP was also informed that the Forest Department has taken up grassland development and lantana eradication inside the forests. This would ensure fodder apart from improving the quality of forest habitat and this was being taken up under MNREGA. Mr. Mahesh Kumar said that nearly 14,000 man days has been sanctioned for the work which was already in progress. However, this is a long-drawn process which has to be done gradually, he added.

Deputy Commissioner Bagadi Goutham, Deputy Conservators of Forest V.Karikalan and Kamala Karikalan were among those present.