Wild jumbos of Dehing Patkai elephant reserve in Jorajan area under Tinsukia’s Digboi forest division have faced trouble due to the drilling and walkover work being carried out by Oil India Limited (OIL) near the elephant corridor area.

The elephants are facing disturbances due to the works being carried out by OIL.

Bogipani elephant corridor, which is one of the major elephant corridors in Digboi, has also faced encroachment due to garbage dumping.

Bijay Gogoi, president of Evergreen Foundation, NGO said, “The elephants of upper Dehing reserve under Jorajan area are facing problem due to the disturbances from OIL.”

“OIL has been carrying out some work in the area which has created problem for the elephants to cross the area,” said Gogoi.

“The man-elephant conflict in the area is the result of the heavy encroachment and deforestation in Dehing Patkai elephant reserve,” he added.

Gogoi also said, “White-winged wood duck, the state bird of Assam, was spotted frequently in the Jorajan area, but due to disturbance for use of heavy equipment by the OIL, the bird is not seen in the area now.”

On the other hand, a mass campaign on social media is going on to save ‘Amazon of East’ Dehing Patkai from coal mafias.

“I am Dehing Patkai” has gained momentum on social media and the students from various institutions have raised voices against coal mining in Dehing Patkai.

“We should save Dehing-Patkai, because it is known as the Amazon of East. Northeast Coal India Limited (NCIL) has been carrying out mining in the Dehing Patkai area causing destruction of its ecology,” said a student of Digboi College.

According to a reports submitted to NBWL authorities, Coal India Limited (CIL) has been carrying out mining in 57.02 hectares of the forest reserve for several years without obtaining any permission.

“It is not clear whether CIL is doing the mining in the area which falls under Dehing Patkai elephant reserve or not. It is true that deforestation has been going on in Dehing Patkai reserve forest but it is not clear about the mining,” said a source.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com