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Constructions of bridges, additional bays and opaque barricading in Assam as a measure to stop man-elephant conflict was highlighted in a booklet titled Best Practices of Human Elephant Conflict Management in India brought out by the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment.

The booklet was released by Union environment and forest minister Prakash Javadekar on the eve of World Elephant Day in New Delhi on Monday.

The booklet hailed Assam’s concrete, masonry structures like pillars, precast blocks created to deter the movement of elephants into roads or rails cutting the forests.

“These structures are more prominent and effective as barriers for crop protection,” it said.

The booklet is a pictorial guide of a variety of management inventions successfully adopted by the elephant range states and serves as a reference manual for adoption of the best possible site-specific mitigation measures that can be adopted to reduce human – elephant conflict.

The booklet said that Chilli is known to have an irritating effect on olfactory nerves of elephants and act as a psychological barrier.

“Chilli fences are made of 2-3 strands of strings strung along poles surrounding a crop field. The ropes have clothes or rags soaked in chilli oil hung on the strands.

“Chilli ropes were found to be more effective against elephant family groups than bulls, and in drier regions as compared to high rainfall regions,” the booklet said.

The booklet said that forest departments are adopting bio-fences as a biological elephant barricade which is made of thorny plant varieties.

Bio-fencing is cost effective and done in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu etc.

“Efforts are in full swing to provide food and water to the animals in the forests itself to deal with the growing human-animal conflict cases,” Javadekar.

The environment minister said India is committed to the cause of saving Elephants and other animals and is working towards robust, practical and cost effective solutions to end the Human Animal Conflict.

Javadekar also stressed on the need of capacity building and training of forest staff.

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