More than 200 humans killed by elephants during last 3 years

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (UNI) As many as 201 humans and 42 elephants were killed in the man-elephant conflict in Orissa since 2004, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the Assembly here today.

Replying to a question of Mr Taraprasad Bahinipati (Cong), the Chief Minister said elephant tracker, anti-poaching and anti-depredation squad were deployed in areas where the elephants were destroying property and killing people.

Replying to another question of Mr Sudhir Kumar Samal, the Chief Minister said 93 kms of solar electric fencing were taken up in Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Angul forest divisions and Chandka wild life division and 74 km of elephant proof trench and stone wall fence were constructed to prevent straying of elephants into human habitations.

As many as 54 anti-poaching and anti-depredation squads were formed to drive away the elephants into forest at the time of elephant depredation.

The Chief Minister said plantations were being taken up in forest areas with elephant fodder species such as bamboo, ficus, khumbi and gambhari and water bodies were created to provide water to elephants during summer.

In vunerable areas, control rooms were strengthened to improve communication and transmission and 46 elephant trackers had been engaged in seven forest and wildlife divisions to continuously minitor the elephant movement and transmit information to the control room.

Public awareness programmes were being organised in the villages for protection of elephants and also to educate them on elephant conservation, Mr Patnaik said.

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