GUWAHATI: Authorities in Assam’s Karimganj district are taking a slew of measures to thwart the ‘infiltration’ of Bangladeshi elephants which frequently enter Indian villages, destroy crops and property, and attack people. Around 300 metres of the India-Bangladesh border in Karimganj’s Lathitilla area was kept open for the movement of wild elephants. But as the pachyderms are increasingly becoming a threat to people living in border areas, authorities are taking several measures to check their movement.
As part of the measures, authorities plan to close down the corridor by planting saplings of lemon and bhoot jolokias (king chillies). Elephants can be kept away through the use of strong smell of chillies and lemons. Another advantage of lemon is the thorns of its creepers which elephants are afraid of.
“We will soon plant king chilli and lemon saplings along the corridor to keep the jumbos at bay. They often enter the area from across the border and wreak havoc by destroying crops and damaging houses. We hope the steps that we are taking will go a long way,” senior forest official Sukhdeb Saha said.
Karimganj deputy commissioner Pradip Talukdar told TNIE that his men were trying to keep in place a natural barrier to keep the elephants away. “We will soon plant 10,000 saplings of king chilli and lemon along the corridor. Also, we will play the recorded sound of bees, which elephants are afraid of, to keep them away,” he said.
Earlier, the elephants would come and stay in India for 15-20 days and then go back. But, now, due to some problem in Bangladesh, they stay most of the time in India. Their movement has also spread and was not limited to one area as in the past.