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Kerala: Man-animal conflict declared as a state-specific disaster

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

  

Context: Recently, Kerala has declared the man-animal conflict a state-specific disaster, shifting responsibility from the forest department to the state disaster management authority.

  • Previously, Uttar Pradesh became the first state in India to declare death through a man-animal conflict a state disaster and the deceased’s family were mandated to give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh by state disaster management authority.

 

Current management vs. proposed change:

AspectCurrent ManagementProposed Change
ResponsibilityForest Department under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972State disaster management authority under the Disaster Management Act
Decision Making AuthorityChief Wildlife WardenState Disaster Management Authority (Chief Minister at State Level)
District Level AuthorityDistrict Collector as the executive magistrateDistrict Collector as a Chairperson of District Disaster Management Authority
Intervention CapabilityLimited by the Wildlife Protection ActEnhanced powers to take decisive actions under Disaster Management Act 2005
Judicial OversightDecisions may be questioned in court under wildlife lawsLimited judicial interference due to provisions of the Disaster Management Act
Jurisdiction of CourtsCourts can entertain suits under relevant wildlife lawsOnly the Supreme Court or High Court can entertain suits related to actions under Disaster Management Act, 2025 (Section 71)

Other State-Specific Disasters:

  • Odisha and Kerala declared snakebite a state-specific disaster in 2015.
  • Kerala declared COVID-19 as a state-specific disaster in 2020.
  • Heat waves, sunburn, Sunstroke, Soil piping, Lightning and coastal erosion were declared in state disasters