The state government has told the high court that it has placed recommendations of a task force on human-elephant conflict before the National Wildlife Board (NWB), whose chairman is the prime minister.
The government said the Karnataka Elephant Task Force had made certain recommendations, which the government has placed before the NWB. The high court had registered a public interest petition in November 2008 following a series of media reports, highlighting death of elephants in the Mysore-Chamarajanagar area.
The counsel for the Centre stated in the high court that all the issues mentioned in the petition are under the active consideration of the NWB.
The division bench headed by chief justice Vikramajit Sen observed, “We have no doubt that the Union government shall duly consider the proceedings as well as the recommendations of Karnataka Elephant Task Force. We also expect that the final decision will be taken by the state government within one month.”
The state government filed the status report in the high court. It stated that the forest department has notified about 5,600 acres of revenue land near Bandipur Tiger Reserve to improve the elephant habitat in the periphery of the tiger reserve.
The report further stated that in the period from 2008-09 to 2012-2013 (till August 31, 2012) in Karnataka, there were 79 cases of electrocution of elephants.
In 2012-2013 (till August 31, 2012), nine police complaints were booked under IPC and the Wildlife (Protection) Act. So far, six cases ended in conviction, 14 cases were dismissed, 34 cases are in the courts and 25 cases are under investigation.
The report further stated that the chief conservator of forests concerned have been directed to pursue the matter with the police department and also with the public prosecutor concerned to expedite the investigation.