Odisha Govt forms task force to reduce man-animal conflict

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has constituted a state-level task force to prepare a master plan for the next three years for the reduction of man-animal conflict in the state.

The 18-member task force has been constituted under the chairmanship of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden, informed Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on Tuesday.

He said it will submit the master plan to the government within six weeks.

Arukha said that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has always stressed upon endeavours for reduction of man-animal conflict in the state.

It is, therefore, essential to prioritise the activities and streamline different interventions to reduce man-animal conflict and have a master plan for three years so that funds under different schemes are spent as per the master plan, he maintained.

In addition to the department schemes, funds under site-specific wildlife plans for forest diversion cases, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and District Mineral Foundation (DMF) can be effectively utilised for habitat development, digging of trenches and other protective measures, including IEC campaign.

The minister said that DFOs should have standard operating procedures with railways, National Highways Authority of India, state highways, irrigation officials, electricity distribution companies with an institutional arrangement of regular monitoring and review at the circle, district and division levels.

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