Human-elephant conflict stands as a major problem in eastern and central India, therefore, strict measures have been proposed to tackle it.
Human-elephant conflict stands as a major problem in eastern and central India, therefore, strict measures have been proposed to tackle it. A new regional plan has been proposed, from creating “elephant removal zones” to relocating or even holding captive “problem” elephants that roam on agricultural land, strategic measures are on its way to put a check on the human-elephant conflict. The region reported at least 253 deaths of people in 2016-17. The toll stands highest in the country, death related to the conflict. This conflict has also ended up in destroying stretches of agricultural land and livelihood.
The strategic plans were discussed in a meeting on Wednesday where wardens from five states in the region Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal were present. This was one of the first steps towards inter-state coordination to tackle over 3000 elephants present in the region. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have developed apps that can track the population of elephants in the region.
Raman Sukuma. a Bengaluru based elephant expert who is one of those involved in drafting regional plan said that the broad approach was to adopt guidelines approved by the Karnataka High Court in 2010, according to Indian Express. “This plan divides zoning habitats into three zones: areas with large forest cover that is relatively intact where elephants can be conserved, creating elephant-human co-existence zones which will serve as an interface between human settlements and elephants, and elephant removal zones in agricultural areas. These are areas where elephants have now moved in, resulting in increasing conflict. The plan will be to capture the elephants and relocate them to other forest areas which are intact, but if that fails, maybe keep some of the elephants under captivity. The different states have to take a call on this,” Sukuma said.