In a bid to check elephant depredation in West Midnapore and Bankura, the state government is planning to confine the jumbos from neighbouring Jharkhand within the Mayurjharna project area that falls in both the districts.
Besides, the minister reviewed work done by his department in the district ahead of CM Mamata Banerjee’s visit to West Midnapore onJanuary 2. During her last visit to Jhargram, Banerjee had expressed displeasure with the functioning of forest department in West Midnapore, particularly over its failure to prevent deaths of villagers due to jumbo attacks. Burman said, “The number of people killed by elephants in south Bengal has declined to 23 this year compared to 71 last year. The quantum of crops destroyed has also dipped.”
The minister said, “The forest department is planting trees and digging wells in the Mayurjharna project area to provide food and water for the Dalma elephants. A new wildlife division for this has also been formed. Like all forest divisions, it will also be headed by a divisional forest officer. Headquartered at Jhargram, the division officials managed to confine Dalma elephants within the Mayurjharna project area for 25 days this year.”