Bhubaneswar. The Odisha government has increased the ex-gratia to be paid to the family of a person killed by wild animals from the existing Rs.3 lakh to Rs.4 lakh. Announcing the decision at the 63rd state level Wildlife Week in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, Chief minister Naveen Patnaik also said that a farmer will be compensated Rs.2,000 if his sheep or goat is killed by wild animals.

The compensation for the death of a lamb would be Rs.750, he said. “The state government is committed to providing better livelihood support for people living in remote areas of the state,” Patnaik said.

Wild animals killed at least 85 persons last year in Odisha. Out of them, 70 persons were killed by elephants only. The state government spends over Rs.14 crore annually towards compensation for human deaths, damage of crop and livestock and houses due to attacks by wild animals in the forested areas.

Recently the state wildlife department has created a revolving fund under the divisional forest officer authorising him to pay 10% of the ex-gratia to the family of a person killed by a wild animal within 24 hours of the incident. The move is meant to prevent escalating law and order situation arising out of man-animal conflict, especially the areas where people are killed by elephants.

Eight forest divisions marked as vulnerable to such conflicts have been given a revolving fund of Rs.5 lakh each, while other 11 divisions have been given Rs.3 lakh each to facilitate the advance payment of 10% of the compensation.

The government has also a programme to relocate people living in wildlife areas to safer places. A family is paid Rs.10 lakh for relocating in a place away from his dwelling in the wildlife zone, especially tiger conservation project areas like Similipal and Satkosia.