BHUBANESWAR: THE expert committee formulated by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to suggest action plan for minimising man-elephant conflict in eastern Indian states met here on Wednesday.
With the jumbo population growing and the long-ranging animals seeking new habitats in search of food and safety, five states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal are the worst affected by man-animal conflict.
The committee discussed a host of issues ranging from linear infrastructure and habitat fragmentation to change in forest pattern, which have been forcing the long ranging mammals to migrate from one state to another.The panel comprised four experts - Prof Raman Sukumar, Saroj Patnaik, DS Srivastava and SS Bisht. Senior forest officials of the five states shared issues that have been responsible for the rising conflicts. DG (Forests) Sidhanta Das, who chaired the meet, said the panel will submit its report in a month. “We are looking at actionable strategy to contain the conflict,” he added.
Every year, a huge herd of elephants migrate from Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary in Jharkhand to West Bengal which drives them towards Odisha. Balasore, which did not report much of elephant movement, has ever since turned into a conflict zone.
Sources said, Additional PCCF of West Bengal Sandeep Sundriyal pointed out that canal on Subarnarekha has posed a problem for movement of elephants from the neighbouring State to Odisha.
IG Project Elephant RK Srivastava; Member-Secretary National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Debabrata Swain; Additional PCCF (Wildlife), Odisha HK Bisht; RCCF, Angul, Sudarshan Panda and RCCF, Rourkela Lingaraj Ota were also present.