Farmers advised to use solar fencing

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The forest department has made a request to the Tamil Nadu electricity Board to take action against the farmers who are misusing the free electricity supplied by the government.

Officials from forest administration claims that 31 elephants have died of electrocution in the last 15 years, and despite both departments trying their best to address the issues, elephants still continue to get electrocuted.

Farmers advised to use solar fencing

A proposal was forwarded to TNEB headquarters in Chennai, requesting them to withdraw free electricity to farmers charged with electrocution. The forest authorities have also urged the department to ensure meters are provided in all farm lands.

An official from the forest department mentioned “Though solar fencing is very effective in preventing wildlife from raiding crop, farmers resort to the usage of 250V AC current as it is a cheaper option. This has led to the deterioration in the male-female ratio of elephants due to the deaths of 20 male elephants in Coimbatore region alone. The genetic erosion of elephant species may occur.”

But farmers say that withdrawal of electricity would not solve the problem.

“The officials should find a way to resolve the conflict rather than punishing farmers or anyone else for wildlife deaths. Punishing the farmer will not help conserve elephants. They need to implement measures to ensure that these animals don’t stray out of the forest,” said A Kandasamy, President of Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association.

Since solar fences are expensive and require tedious maintenance, farmers don’t opt for it.

“Sometimes they don’t work as elephants use wooden logs to hit the fence. Thus farmers use direct electricity to save their crop. Police changes are required to resolve the issue,” said a forest officer.

Source: TOI

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