Tripura set to adopt multiple strategies to control errant jumbos: Minister

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Agartala, Jun 11 (PTI) The Tripura government will adopt multiple strategies to resolve man-animal conflict in the Khowai district where wild elephants often attack human habitations, Forest Minister Animesh Debbarma said on Tuesday.

The Teliamura and Mugiakamti forest ranges which are considered natural elephant corridors in Khowai district are the most affected, he said.

Debbarma held a meeting with the officials on Monday and decided to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) about the reduction of man-animal conflict in two forest ranges.

"Once the DPR is prepared, the state government will send it to the Centre seeking financial assistance to handle elephant attacks on the human habitations in Teliamura and Mongiakami ranges," the minister said.

He said the forest department will also adopt some immediate measures, as a pilot project, to control the wild elephants.

"Under the pilot project, trenches will be created to restrain the free movements of the elephants. Five watch towers will be built in Teliamura and Mugiakmati forest ranges to maintain a vigil on the movement of the jumbos," he said.

Asserting that controlling elephant attacks in human habitations has become a major concern for the department, he said the department will procure special guns to drive away elephants.

"We have decided to procure special guns to drive away wild elephants from habitations. The guns will be handed over to the anti-depredation squad of the department at the earliest," Debbarma said.

Debbarma said the elephants are not able to move towards the Atharamura hill range due to the facelift of the national highway, which may be the reason for the attacks on human habitations during recent times.

"Due to the traffic on the national highway, the elephants are virtually confined to Teliamura and Mugiakami ranges. We are planning to construct three underpasses in three places so that Jumbo could move from one place to another place", he said.

According to Debbarma, the forest department will ensure enough food for elephants in two forest ranges.

Besides, an adequate quantity of salt, which the jumbos like a lot, will be made available inside forest areas.

Around 18-20 elephants are there in two forest ranges while around 20 elephant-related incidents, including one death, were reported from two areas since January, this year, the District Forest Officer (DFO), Khowai, Akshay B Bhorde, said. PTI PS SBN SBN

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