Garbage dumped at Bogapani elephant corridor in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district poses threat to possible man-elephant conflict.
The elephants pass through the corridor from Dehing-Patkai reserve forest to Dehing Patkai east block during harvest season.
During harvest season, herds of 80 to 90 elephants pass through the Bogapani elephant corridor.
The Bogapani elephant corridor passes through the tea estate to the north of Digboi town.
However, due to dumping of garbage and wastes near the Bogapani elephant corridor, the elephants may receive injuries in their legs because broken bottles are found near the corridor.
Meanwhile, elephant corridors in Assam are facing threat due to human encroachment in the area.
Dhoneswar Handique, deputy forest ranger of Digboi said they don’t know who dump garbage at Bogapani elephant corridor.
“On the Environmental Day, we cleaned the area and requested the people to don’t dump garbage there. We have installed a signboard but still locals dump garbage there. We are monitoring but still we are yet to find it out.”
“The elephant corridor should be free because the elephants pass through the corridor during night,” he said adding, “The elephant herds pass through the corridor and enter in human settlement in search of food.”
Bijay Gogoi, president of Evergreen Foundation, an NGO said, “Now, the Bogapani elephant corridor has become a garbage dumping zone. If the corridor cannot be freed from such things then it may pose a threat for the pachyderms.”
“Broken glasses, which are found there, can cause huge problem for the elephants because it can cause damage in their leg. Even the baby elephants, which come along with the herd, can receive injury in their legs,” added Gogoi.
He also said, “To secure a future for wild elephants, it is very essential to ensure uninterrupted movement of elephants between key habitats. To do this, designated corridors must be legally secure and protected.”
Gogoi said human settlement is one of the major reasons for free movement of elephants.
“Forest covers are shrinking in a rampant pace and due to that the elephants have to move out from the forest to human settlement resulting in man-elephant conflict. Community participation is necessary to tackle the major issue of man-animal conflict. The elephant corridors of Assam should be free from any encroachment,” he said.
Gogoi said there are a total of three elephant corridors under Digboi forest division – Kathabari Dehing elephant corridor, Golai Powai elephant corridor and Bogapani corridor.
Kathabari was recently identified as an elephant corridor.
There are a total of 12 elephant corridors in Assam.
Nine elephants lost their lives in between 2001 and 2015
“Fencing along the Bogapani tea garden in the elephant corridor area should be removed for free passing of elephants,” said Gogoi.