122 killed by elephants in Orissa in three years

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 19 (UNI) As many as 122 people were killed by elephants in Orissa, while 26 of them were killed by humans during the past three years, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the Assembly today.

In a written reply to a question of Congress members Ualaka Ramachandra and Aswini Kumar Patra, Mr Patnaik said the human being killed by elephants remained at almost constant level during the past three years.

While 42 people were killed in 2005-06, 44 killed in the following year and 34 had lost their lives in the current year so far.

The Chief Minister said the government had deployed anti- depredation squads in vulnerable areas and provided the squad with public address system, sirens, search light, crackers, drums, flare guns to drive away the elephants.

The people were being alerted in advance on movement of the elephants and in certain cases elephant movement was controlled through erection of solar powered electric fence and trenches.

During the past three years, 26 elephants were killed by the people. While nine elephants were killed during 2005-o6, 16 killed in 2006-07 and only one elephant was killed during the current year.

The Chief Minister said the government had constituted anti-poaching squad to take up regular patrolling, engaged elephant trackers to monitor them, created water bodies inside forest areas to provide sufficient water to the elephants during summer and intelligence gathering about poaching had been strengthened to check poaching of elephants.

These apart, crime branch was asked to keep a vigil on the poachers and communication network had been strengthened.

Compassionate payments in case of human death or damage to property by elephants were being made quickly to avoid revenge killing, the Chief Minister added.

UNI

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