UDALGURI, Oct 24 - Several villages along the Indo-Bhutan border in Udalguri district have been witnessing a series of man-elephant conflicts. The people living in the villages have been facing severe hardships as their crops have been destroyed by the elephants. The environmentalists who are closely monitoring the situation are also worried over the situation. According to them, rapid de-forestation is instrumental for the rise in man-elephant conflict. �The conflict has been on the rise during the past 10 years. We are invading their habitats. It is the same for other animals too,� they said.
The wild elephants continue to unleash terror and destroy crops for which the farmers in the areas have stopped cultivating paddy.
�We should look for alternative ways to save the crops of the farmers as they have to incur huge losses,� the experts opined.
According to reports from the conflict region, a herd of wild jumbos trampled a labourer Birashmoni Bara (48) while she was plucking tea leaves at the Badlapara TE under Dimakuchi PS in Udalguri on Monday morning.
In another incident, a wild jumbo attacked one Bandhain Bara (34), a tea garden labourer, who suffered grievous injuries. She is now undergoing treatment. Recently, a herd of wild elephants had trampled a 16-year-old Rupali Toppo, daughter of Baranbas Toppo and Jasinta Toppo at Badlapara TE under Dimakuchi PS in Udalguri district on October 7 night. Following the incident, a large number of tea garden labourers staged a protest against the Forest department and tea garden management. The tea garden labourers also submitted a memorandum to the manager of the estate, Arup Baruah who assured the labourers of due compensation form the company.
According to statistics, altogether three people have lost their lives and an elephant has been killed during the past 15 days.
Meanwhile, the Udalguri district committee of Aranya Suraksha Samiti, Assam also expressed grave concern over the rising cases of man-elephant conflict, especially along the Indo-Bhutan border in Udalguri district which also naturally falls under the elephant corridor zone. The samiti also appealed to the Forest department to take urgent measures to contain the menace considering the gravity of the situation. �We need more elephant corridors for safety,� the members of the samiti observed.