Over 1,500 people died due to elephant attacks since 2019: Govt tells Parliament
The data provided by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change has shown a slight increase in elephant-human conflict in the country
Over 1,500 people have lost their lives due to elephant attacks in India in the last three years, the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change informed Parliament on Monday, showing a slight increase in elephant-human conflict in the country.
In 2019-20, 585 deaths due to elephant attack happened, whereas in between 2020-21, almost 461 such casualties were reported and in the last year, the cases gained a marginal hike with almost 535 being reported by several state governments, according to the data provided by the ministry.
The details were provided in the Lok Sabha by Union minister of state (MoS) for environment, forest and climate change Ashwini Kumar Choubey while replying to a query raised in the House by Congress MP Su.Thirunavukkarasar.
The MP asked the ministry whether the elephant-human conflict had been on the rise during the last few years.
The minister also said that India has recorded 299,964 with the highest numbers recorded in Karnataka (6049).
On elephant deaths, the minister said that in the last three years, 41 elephants died due to train accidents, 198 were electrocuted to death, 27 fell prey to poachers and eight died due to poisoning.
Choubey said that the management of wildlife including mitigation and management of human-elephant conflict (HEC) was primarily the responsibility of state governments and Union territory administrations.
He added that the ministry was responsible to provide financial and technical assistance to states/UTs under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes ‘Project Elephant’ for the protection and conservation of elephants and their habitats in the country in a bid to reduce man-elephant conflict and to avoid retaliatory killing of elephants.
“Forest Departments are engaging with local communities as animal trackers to monitor the movement of elephants and also to caution local people to avoid human-animal conflict, prevent damage or loss of human life and elephants,” he said in his written reply.
“Compensation is provided to local communities for loss of their property and life caused by wild elephants. The Ministry has notified enhancement of ex-gratia rates related to wildlife on 9 February, 2018,” he added.
Lising various efforts the government was taking to mitigate Human-Elephant conflicts, the minister said a guideline for Management of Human Elephant Conflict was issued by the ministry on October 6, 2017 and elephant range states have been requested for implementation of the same. So far 33 Elephant Reserves have been established in 14 major elephant states. A Capacity Building Workshop on “Minimizing Railway-induced Elephant Mortalities for the Officers of the Indian Railways” was conducted on February 1-3, 2023. A regional coordination meeting for the Eastern Region to address Human-Elephant Conflict was conducted on January 19, 2023 at Kolkata.
On a query if the government was planning to update and review the elephant corridors across the country, Choubey said, “The Ministry, in coordination with the State Forest Departments, has initiated the process for ground truthing of Elephant corridors in India, so as to create a better connectivity between the different landscape and elephants herds for maintaining genetic diversity.”