Centre raises compensation for death and injuries in human-wildlife conflict cases

NEW DELHI: Amid reports of increasing number of casualties in human-wildlife conflicts, the Centre has enhanced compensation for death and injuries to humans in such cases and advised states to keep on organising periodic awareness campaigns to sensitise general public living near national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves.

Under the enhanced ex-gratia relief, the compensation for death and permanent incapacitation has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to to Rs 5 lakh. Similarly, the amount for grievous injuries has been increased from Rs 60,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

As far as compensation for damage to crops is concerned, the relief amount will continue to be paid as per the value of loss assessed by competent officers.

“Payment of ex-gratia amount to victims of wild animal attack is provided with a view to provide some relief and reduce retaliatory killings”, said an official while sharing details of the environment ministry’s recent decision to enhance the compensation amount.

Financial assistance is provided under centrally sponsored scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH) and Project Tiger. These funds are also meant for voluntary relocation of villagers from within the protected areas.

“This helps in moving people away from the wildlife rich habitats and thus reducing conflict situations”, said the official.

The move to enhance compensation assumes significance in view of killing of hundreds of people in the HWC across the country.

Environment ministry’s figures show that as many as 1,557 people were killed in conflict with elephants and 49 others in tiger attacks in the country in the past over three years. The figures also show that the numbers of casualties have consistently been increasing since 2015.