Forest Department forms squad to deal with human-elephant conflict in Udalguri district
The Dhansiri Forest Division Udalguri have taken up slew of measures to combat the acute man-elephant conflict in the Indo-Bhutan border areas in Udalguri district.
TANGLA: The Dhansiri Forest Division Udalguri have taken up slew of measures to combat the acute man-elephant conflict in the Indo-Bhutan border areas in Udalguri district. According to reports, the department has formed special task forces to deal with the threat and drive the elephant herd away from human habitation areas and paddy fields. The elephant herds are frequently seen in Bhutiachang, Bongshipur, Joraphukuri, Gitibari, Teliapara,Santipur, Bholattar, Samrang, Bamunjuli, Nonaipra Bagan,Garuajhar, 13 No. Bhutiachnag, Bogoritol, Segunbari, Bormukuli, Hattigarh Sonapani, Bagekhuwa villages near Khalingduar Reserve Forest and Daichunga, Khoira Grant, Sat phukuri, Uttar Naobandha, Patharnadi, Dharamjuli Jungle, Rajagarh 1 to 4 ,Nalapara, Tankibasti, Munsibasti, Suklai, Lamabasti villages near Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Talking to The Sentinel, Udalguri Dhansiri Forest Division, DFO Raju Kumar Brahma said, "The elephants have frequented the villages in search of food owing to the post-harvest season and we are having a tough time driving away the herds." He further said," We have formed a squad to deal with the menace, driving elephants away is one of the tasks assigned to the team which also monitors jumbo-infested areas, monitor the movement of elephants with the help of village youths." "We have also formed village-level monitoring committee by roping in youths whom we have distributed high powered rechargeable torchlights to monitor and co-ordinate with the forest department to check on the movement of herds consisting of 100 to 150 elephant including jumbos." He further added.
Underlining the stand of the present government he said the government has been serious with the issue of ex-gratia compensation to the next kith and kins of man-elephant conflict victims and those whose crops or properties are damaged and a swift mechanism have been enforced where the ex-gratia will be made available within a month or so.
Forest Beat Officer, Paneri, Mrinmoy Hazarika said, "We have already formed a squad and was successful to drive away a herd consisting 80-100 elephants from Paneri TE to Khalingduar Reserve Forest on Monday and earlier a herd was driven from Murmela near Tangla town to Paneri TE." Wildlife conservationist Nabajyoti Baruah hailing the move said, "The government must focus on long-term measures such as removing encroachments, eviction of illegal resorts in elephant corridors and habitats." According to official statistics in Dhansiri division of Udalguri district in the current academic year of 2022-23 there have been nine human deaths against nine elephant casualities. The elephant deaths have been linked to food poisoning, electrification.