Further, around 75 people have lost their lives due to elephant attacks, he noted.
The minister said this during a discussion held with the residents of the Vavuniya, Nandamitra gama yesterday (22) regarding the issues they face due to elephants.
Expressing his views on the matter the minister said that every year around 25% of the cultivated crops are being destroyed by wild elephants and he is taking every possible measure to minimize the damage caused by elephants to the people’s lives, their crops and property.
Fonseka said that so far around 4,500 km of electric fences have been erected to prevent elephants entering villages and another 2,500 km is left to be fenced.
Rs. 5 billion allocated for electric fences!
He said around Rs. 5 billion is required for the construction and maintenance of electric fences, adding that their primary goal is to ensure the safety of the people and their crops.
Fonseka further noted that around 7,000 Civil Security personnel and Wildlife officers have been deployed to protect the electric fences.
Pics by Madhava Kulasooriya – Vavuniya Corr.