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FM proposes using 10% of MLA fund towards scheme to check crop loss

Maharashtra Finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday instructed officials concerned to prepare a proposal for seeking 10% amount from the MLA fund for its chain-link fencing scheme aimed at preventing crop losses by wild animals.

The scheme, implemented in the state under the ‘Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee Jan Van Vikas Yojana’, provides for 90% payment of the amount for crop loss by the state government and the remaining by beneficiaries.

Mungantiwar, who also holds charge of the forest department, instructed officials to prepare a proposal asking that this remaining 10% amount be paid from the MLA fund.

“Changes should be made in the proposal and it should be sent to the planning department for considering it positively”, he said.

The chain-link fencing scheme is being implemented in the buffer areas of tiger projects, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks and villages that fall within a distance of 5 km of forest borders and have possibilities of crop losses by wild animals.

Mungantiwar said the forest department was working to check incidents of human-wildlife conflict by implementing various programmes.

These include achieving sustainable development and increasing productivity by using resources like people, water, forest, and land, reducing the dependency of villagers on forest, generating auxiliary businesses to agriculture and making available substitute employment opportunities.

The minister also directed for more funds to be disbursed under the development schemes for distribution of solar fences and to avoid human-wildlife conflict in highly sensitive areas.

He said, “a system should be made to alert villagers in case a wild animal enters their farms”.

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