Bhubaneswar: With an aim to reduce man-animal conflicts, the state government has constituted a task force to prepare a master plan for next three years.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) has been appointed as chairman of the task force, said Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha Tuesday. The panel was asked to submit its report to the government within six weeks, he said.
Representatives of South Eastern Railways & East Coast Railways, CEOs of power distribution companies, chief engineer (roads), chief general manager of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), regional chief conservator of forests (RCCF)—Angul, Rourkela & Bhubaneswar, Save Elephant Foundation Trust and many resource persons have been included in the panel.
The task force can induct any other individual as its members or consult any individual /institution for preparation of the master plan. “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has always stressed endeavours for reduction of man-animal conflicts 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 3 years so that funds under different schemes are spent as per this master plan,” Arukha said.
In addition to department schemes, funds under site specific wild life plans for forest diversion cases, CAMPA, MGNREGS & district mineral fund (DMF) can be effectively utilised for habitat development, digging of trenches and other protective measures, the minister said.
Arukha advised divisional forest officers (DFOs) to have SOPs with railways, NH, state highways, irrigation officials, power distribution companies with an institutional arrangement of regular monitoring and review at the circle, district and division levels.