Seeking a long term solution to the rising man-elephant conflict across the country, the Union Government on Wednesday said as many as 500 people and about 100 elephants are killed every year besides large scale damage of crops.
“500 persons and one hundred elephants are being killed every year in the country owing to such situation besides impacting large scale damages to the standing crops,” said R K Srivastav, Inspector General of Forest, Government of India.
He said this while inaugurating a coordination meeting attended by senior forest officials of different states.
To overcome the conflict, Srivastav advocated for constituting inter-state coordination committee comprising forest staff, NGOs, people’s representatives and research scholars involved in the study of environment.
He also suggested measures like digging of elephant proof trenches, awareness to save elephants, barbed wire fencing of crop fields and installation of high power search lights.
On the cause of migrations of elephants, he said elephants of Andhra Pradesh are being attracted to Odisha border due to cultivation of banana and sugarcane.
Srivastav also stressed on declaring elephant corridors as protected areas along with the elephant habitats.
Other eminent wildlife experts like Ramesh Kalaghati, PCCF Andhra Pradesh, Azam Zaidi, PCCF West Bengal, Sashi Nanda Koyoliar, RCCF, Jharkhand, B P Nonhare, CCF (WL), Chhattishgarh, mentioned that the West Bengal and Odisha border areas were regularly subjected to the men and elephant conflicts.
Deliberating on the issue, Odisha Field Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve H K Bisht said construction of Subarnarekha Irrigation Project Canals had virtually sealed the moving path of elephants which added to the menace.