In another incident of man-elephant conflict in Assam, wild pachyderms ravaged two houses at Dighalihabi of Shantipur area under Sivasagar Forest Reserve and Sivasagar revenue circle in Assam’s Sivasagar district.
A herd of around 70-80 wild elephants entered the village on Saturday night and raged to ground the residences of one Bhanu Gogoi and Mahendra Bora.
Wild elephants frequently intrude into the human habitation in the area in adjoining villages like Aphola, Garhbhanga, Tantipathar, Chenimara, Jagorahabi and Laraputa. The wild jumbos usually come during this time of the year, after the harvest season.
Locals alleged that Forest Department officials do precious little to mitigate the man-elephant conflict expect occasionally bursting crackers.
Meanwhile, locals of the entire region are passing sleeping nights as they have to stand guard throughout the night for fear of attacks by wild elephants.
According to wildlife experts, rapid loss of dense forests, infrastructure projects falling in elephant habitats and rising frustration of villagers are responsible for the problem. In the last few years, the State has been witnessing a series of problems. The farmers in many parts across the State have now stopped cultivation of sali crops due to damage caused by the herd of elephants.
The problem is aggravating day by day mainly due to depletion of forest areas in the wake of massive encroachment, especially in the elephant corridors. Forest areas have been encroached in many parts of the State under political patronage for which elephants and other animals have no alternative but to come out to the paddy fields or residential areas in search of food. Wildlife experts are also worried over the situation and have suggested initiating urgent steps for preservation of forests in the greater interest of the animals and also to save precious human lives and properties.