Numaligarh: Golaghat forest division has come forward to organize awareness meetings for minimizing the man-animal conflict, besides ensuring the proper co-existence of human and wild animals in a suitable environment.
A special awareness meeting was held on Monday in presence of district forest department officials, village defense party, gaon burha, Panchayat member-officials and locals of the area at Kathkotia LP School near Rangajan in Golaghat.
The meeting was presided over by Huledhar Bora and the purpose of the meeting was explained by KK Mazumder, Forest Beat Officer, who said that the awareness meeting was aimed at educating the common people by informing them about the protection of wildlife and mitigating the human-elephant conflict in the area. Addressing the gathering, the resource person of the meeting, Rituraj Phukon, secretary-general of Tuskers Task Force NGO, said that deforestation and encroachment in the reserve forests wee fueling the man-elephant conflict and there was no way to totally stop it. He further stated that the conventional mitigation measures had proved to be ineffective and now systematic mitigation strategies needed to be followed. Forest range officer Puspadhar Borgohain, forest officers Aihom Shyam and Sachindra Nath Saikia, Pub-Morangi GP president and vice-president, Protima Gogoi and Shiba Hazarika respectively, along with others were present and spoke on the issue. Locals of the area also spoke about the issue and the problem they were facing. In her speech, Pub-Morangi GP president Protima Gogoi pointed out that humans had caused damage to the forests and the whole natural ecosystem because of which the elephants and other animals had to come to human-populated areas in search of food. She further stated that there was a misconception among the people that the elephant population was increasing day-by-day. The real picture is different, she said. “Due to the degradation of the forest lands, there is the scarcity of vegetation and habitat for the elephants in the forest, so they often come to human-populated areas in search of food. The data says that there is a decrease in elephant population in recent years,” she added.
Places like Rangajan, Thuramukh, Morangi, and Numaligarh of Golaghat are dealing with intense human-elephant conflict since the past few years and long-term mitigation measures are needed to minimize the conflict and to apply co-existence methods for both human-elephant and other animals.