At least 500 persons are killed in human-elephant conflict every year: Environment min data
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on Monday said at least 500 people and 100 elephants are killed in the country due to human-elephant conflict every year.
While releasing a document on best practices of conflict management and a portal on addressing the human-elephant conflict cases, the MoEFCC officials said there are 30,000 pachyderms in the wild and another 2,700 are in captivity.
Soumitra Dasgupta, additional director-general of forests (wildlife), on Monday, said that financial contribution to states for payment of compensation and other conflict mitigation strategies had been increased by 30% this financial year, as compared to the previous year. “New elephant reserves have been declared and elephant corridors have also been identified in the past five years to address the problem. Elephants have also been included in appendix 1 of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals to ensure better conservation.”
Sanjay Kumar, the director-general of forests, said the population and distribution of elephants in the country have been on the rise. They have been migrating from Jharkhand to Chhattisgarh to Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. “New interactions are leading to more conflict. They are migrating to newer areas. We are trying to identify research methodologies to understand how the population can remain stable in new areas,” he said.
The portal and the document was released by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar. “We do not kill animals. Animals are revered in India. We have to devise good conflict management practices. We have also started a fodder and water augmentation programme in elephants’ habitat and corridor,” Javadekar said.
On Sunday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said the draft environment impact assessment (EIA) notification, 2020, is “not only disgraceful, but it is also dangerous”.
“Not only does it have the potential to reverse many of the hard-fought gains that have been won over the years in the battle to protect our environment, but it could also potentially unleash widespread environmental destruction and mayhem across India,” Gandhi wrote in a lengthy post on a social media platform calling youth to protest against it.