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Minister holds meet on man-elephant conflict

Kolkata: The state Forest department has earmarked a 128 km stretch from Bankura (border) to Jhargram that needs special monitoring and fencing measures to prevent the entry of elephants from neighbouring states like Odisha and Jharkhand. State Forest minister Rajib Banerjee held a meeting at Kharagpur in West Midnapore on Wednesday to discuss measures that can be taken to reduce man – elephant conflict in the districts of south Bengal.

"Jhargram that shares its border with Jharkhand and Odisha has been identified as the corridor through which there has been maximum entry of elephants from neighbouring states. So the proposition of setting up some sort of trench or boundary wall to curb the movement of the jumbos was elaborately discussed.

We are also planning to construct more watch towers to monitor the movement of the pachyderms," said Rajib Banerjee, state Forest minister.

Instructions have been given to the concerned forest officials to make an assessment on the availability of land for putting up fence or enclosure along the 128 km stretch. Steps that can be taken for reducing man elephant conflict in districts like Bankura, Purulia, West Midnapore and Burdwan in south Bengal also came up for discussion.

All senior officials of the Forest department were present in the meeting including state Chief Wildlife Warden and Head of Forest Force.

The minister will hold a meeting to discuss measures to prevent tiger attacks on humans in Sunderbans on September 14.

In the third week of this

month Banerjee will hold a similar meeting in North Bengal to address the issue of man elephant

conflict.

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