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Man-elephant conflict takes ugly turn in Udalguri

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT


Tangla, Feb 2: With over 22 people killed and several houses damaged during the last few years, the human-elephant conflict has taken a serious turn in Udalguri district along Indo-Bhutan border. As many as 22 people and eight wild elephants were killed during 2014 in Udalguri district while in 2015 under Harisinga Revenue circle of 33 Nonwi Serfang BTC constituency, 108 houses constructed by the government under Indira Awaas Yoja belonging to poverty ridden villagers were destroyed by wild jumbos. Out of which include 25 in Noikhuti, 23 in Bamunjuli, 8 in Khagunbahi, 16 in Tukhibasti, 23 in Rajagarh, 16 in Bhulatara and seven in Kali-Khola.

Sources said massive deforestation has led to the man-elephant conflict in the district. Due to massive tree felling, the Bordi Wildlife Sanctuary, Khalingduar forest and Noi Reserve forest are on the verge of extinction.

Official statistics reveal that of 19,892 hectares of reserved forest area in Udalguri district, over 5,100 hectares has been either under encroachment or cleared of forests, causing rapid loss of elephant habitat and blocking of corridors. “In Rowta reserved forest, 2,342 hectares out of 7,739 hectares has been encroached or destroyed. Likewise, of 7,090 hectares in Khalingduar reserved forest, over 1,365 hectares has been encroached upon,” said Jayanta Das, honourary wildlife warden of the district.

But the worst case of encroachment is the Bhariabkunda proposed reserved forest, which comprises of 3,543 hectares, but everything is only on paper. So is the status of the Kundarbil proposed reserved forest, where of the 992 hectares, only 72 hectares is left.

The villagers in the Indo-Bhutan border had been spending sleepless nights in fear of the wild jumbos. In the villages under Harisinga revenue circle of Udalguri district mely Bamunjuli, Kalikhola, Orangajuli, Garuajhar, Satgaria, Attarekhat, lapara, Rajagarh, Dharamjuli, Borengajuli, Suklai, Gosala, Dimakuch, Ghagra, Bhutiachang, Sojuli, obandha every year a sizable number of people have lost their lives, property and crops. Within a night the human dreams and lives become shattered.

The panic stricken villagers have appealed the local authorities and government to build houses in form of watch towers under Indira Awaas Yoja in the affected areas.

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