Amid increasing human-elephant conflict in North Chhattisgarh, a workshop on ways to tackle elephant menace organised at Jashpurtown suggested organising Gajmitra symposiums to create awareness among people. The workshop suggested use of elephant alert lights, creating tiger roar and growl sound effect and bee hive and swarm bees sound to scare off jumbo. As a long term plan, a proposal for setting up an elephant conservation zone also came up.
During the workshop at district panchayat office in Jashpur, officials concerned and stakeholders discussed ways to minimize elephant attacks and loss of life and crops by implementing solutions to deal with emergency services. Strengthening communication among villagers and forest department during elephant movement or when it attacks was the main concern amid unavailability of proper network.
District panchayat vice-president Prabal Pratap Singh Judeo said, “Elephant attack is a grave issue in North Chhattisgarh and it’s important to work in harmony with villagers, government and village representatives. Forest conservation is equally important.”
Kunkuri legislator Rohit Yadav suggested that awareness should be strengthened with arrangements of alert lights and sounds to chase away the tusker. Another member of district panchayat, Ajay Sharma said that elephants are in dire need to be provided with sufficient food and water as forest are thinning.
“Plantation of banana trees and others should be done for elephant so that they don’t venture in populated zones in search of food. Why not collaborate with neighbouring Jharkhand na dOdisha government to deal with the menace, as elephants keep migrating between these three states,” said Sharma.
Jashpur collector Dr Priyanka Shukla insisted that locals should be trained on what to do when the elephant strikes or is spotted. “Between September 10-20, gajmitra symposium will be held in affected region to spread awareness.”
Field director of elephant reserve, KK Bisen said that as elephants have exceptional sense of hearing, usage of elephant lights and sounds will not let them come near the populated areas.
Reporting ten incidents of attack on human life this year, an officer said that 251 incidents of crop damage and damage of 287 houses have come to the fore. Making groups and patrolling in the region for security should be done by the people along with creating tiger roar and growl sound effect, burning chilli powder and bee hive and swarm bees sound to scare off the elephants.