Elephant Attacks in Aralam: Kerala HC sets 18-month deadline for wall construction

The Chief Secretary has been directed to ensure proper and periodical monitoring of the work

Elephant Attacks: Aralam Farms, a 3,500-acre green space in the Kannur district of Kerala, have been a disturbed piece of land for years due to the critical issue of man-animal conflict. Close to 1,500 tribal families residing in the region have been constantly troubled due to elephant attacks that happen from time to time.

The Kerala government, which has had a hassled scenario in hand for many years, will now have to speed up addressing the issue in order to ensure the safety of the tribal people who live and work at Aralam. The administration has been ordered by the Kerala High Court to speed up the construction of a protection wall around the Aralam Farms in 18 months’ time.

With pachyderm raids into human spaces being discussed much more vehemently at the moment, the decision of the Kerala High Court assumes significance much more than ever. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government will now have to abide by the court order and complete the construction of a wall around the compound within the stipulated time frame.

Elephant attacks: No to state’s plea for more time

Though the government pleaded with the court to grant it 36 months’ time, the High Court declined the plea, stating that Rs 22 crore has already been sanctioned for the construction of a concrete wall. The wall to come up around the farms would be 10.5 km, and it would have additional fencing that runs across 3.5 km. The Court also reminded the government that a project study has already been carried out and that it cannot delay the construction any further.

With the state Public Works Department now in the process of drawing up a plan, only 18 months would be granted for completion of the wall construction, and the deadline would include the time frame for floating and finalization of a tender in this regard. The High Court also took note of the fact that the government had earlier entrusted the task with the SC/ST department, but nothing had happened.

According to a Metro Vartha report, the High Court also has notified the Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, to ensure proper and periodical monitoring of the work, so that the construction of the protective wall would be completed in time

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