Millennium Post

Electric fencing in Nepal border affecting elephant movements: State tells Centre

The state government wrote to the Centre seeking intervention as electric fencing in Nepal border is affecting the normal livelihood of elephants. It may be mentioned that the attack of elephants in villages situated in the bordering forest areas in the state had cropped up as a major problem in the recent times. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also raised her concern during the block level administrative meeting at Jhargram about the attack of elephants. She had also asked the forest department to take necessary steps so that people do not face any trouble and elephants can also live in a peaceful environment.

The forest department has pointed out that electric fencing in the Nepal side of the border along river Mechi is restricting the free movement of elephants. The 19-kilometre long fencing didn’t allow elephants to pass towards Nepal. As a result, the villages in Terai and Dooars are getting affected badly as the attack of elephants in search of food has gone up tremendously.

Residents of the area are passing sleepless night apprehending attack by elephants at any point of time. Thus, the state government wrote to the Centre seeking intervention in this regard.

It may be recalled that earlier, elephants used to cross Mechi river to move to the forests in Nepal. Thus there was no problem of scarcity of food of the elephants. The state government is expecting a tripartite meeting in this regard with the intervention of the Centre. The state forest minister Binay 
Burman said that letter has already been sent to the Centre and they are just waiting for the reply.

The state government is also taking steps to deploy round the clock teams to monitor the movement of elephants in different parts of the state where the attack of tuskers have become rampant. It is learnt that many other initiatives were taken by the state forest department to check the incidents of attack by elephants in villages.

The state forest department is also setting up two elephant enclosures with natural habitats in the state covering an area of 8 hectre each.

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