The Wildlife Department said the government has to spend Rs.2,800 million annually on ‘Ali Wedi’ (Thunder Flashes) to scare and chase away the wild elephants from villages.
The department said the annual Ali Wedi requirement is 1.4 million which is being procured from local fireworks manufacturers.
The Wildlife Department provides ‘Ali Wedi’ free of charge to the people to scare away wild elephants when they invade farmlands and villages.
Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has recently inquired from the Forest Conservation Officers about the allegations that they do not provide adequate support to the villagers when wild elephants attack their villages.
The officials have told the minister that even if the people inform the Wildlife officials about wild elephant attacks, wildlife officials face practical difficulties in travelling to the relevant area on time due to fuel restrictions.
Wildlife officials have also said that more money may have to be spent on Ali Wedi in the future due to the increase in the price of raw materials.
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