The forest department has started fencing the hillocks adjacent to Sherpur border with trees and live electric wires to prevent attacks by strat elephants on the locals, their houses and standing crops.
The electric wires are powered by solar power.
A total of 52 people were killed and more than 500 injured in elephant attacks in Sherpur so far, according to Sherpur district wild animal management and nature preservation official. Crops, trees and household belongings were also damaged.
Twenty elephants were killed in counter attack as well, according to the count.
That is why, the forest department is taking steps for coexistence of elephants and locals in the areas.
As part of it, the forest department is planting elephant food plants in more than hundred acres of field.
The fence is being constructed in 18 kilometres of elephant territory and possible areas of elephant attacks.
However, few locals in Jhenaigati said bright lights are more effective to ward off elephants from entering locality than eclectic fencing.
Ismail Hossain, a local in Nalitabari’s Talani area, said a few Garo families had to leave their home due to elephant attacks.
Jhenaigati upazila chairmen Aminul Islam told Prothom Alo that the project has to completed as soon as possible, otherwise about 3,000 families might have to leave their home.
These elephants come from Meghalaya and enter areas in Mymensingh, Sherpur and Jamalpur.
Mymensingh divisional forest official Govinda Ray said, “Elephants are necessary for ecological balance. This is why we are emphasising coexistence of elephants and local people.”
He said there will be certain discussion with India’s forest authorities as the elephants mostly come from India’s Meghalaya.
Sherpur deputy commissioner AM Parvez cautioned about setting up houses in the forest.
Member of parliament (MP) of Sherpur (Shreebardi -Jhenaigati) constituency AKM Fazlul Haque told Prothom Alo that he recommended increasing the compensation money for the people who died and got injured in elephant attacks.
He proposed Tk 800,000 for the families of the deceased, Tk 200,000 for the injured and Tk 50,000 for crops damage.