Man-elephant conflict discussed in Assam Assembly

Guwahati, Jul 15 : As the man-elephant conflict continued to grow over the years, the issue was today raised in the Assam Assembly.

Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MLA Padma Hazarika, bringing a Zero Hour notice on man-elephant conflict, stressed that the issue was more important than flood menace in several parts of the state.

He cited yesterday’s instance of a man being trampled to death by a wild elephant in Sonitpur district, which infuriated the local people and led them to beat up forest department officials who later visited the place.

Hazarika, while underlining the need for more and prompt monetary compensation for damage to life and property by wild animals, also highlighted the need for better coordination between public and forest officials.

He also stressed on the need to enlist help of experts to control and chase away marauding wild elephants and better equipment and vehicles for forest department officials to promptly reach spots where the pachyderms create havoc.

Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, admitting the problem, said the government was adopting various measures to curtail it.

He stressed on the need to protect elephant habitats and ensure adequate food for the pachyderms as a major measure in ensuring that elephants do not enter human habitations.

Hussain added that monetary compensation had been increased and a mechanism for early disbursement of compensation put into place.