M3 Features

Elephant Squads formed in Dooars

November 18, 2013

With the advent of winter, the residents of slum areas and tea estates in Dooars region of North Bengal are living in fear again. Sudden attacks by hordes of elephants haunt the people in the area, every year during this time of the year. The suffering which continues throughout the year becomes aggravated during winter as the elephants ravage the village, destroy the crops, maul the households and sometimes even taking lives of those who accidentally come in their way.

Aman’, the winter paddy crop cultivated during winter by the farmers of this region, is the biggest casualty of the elephant attacks. The poor peasants incur severe financial loss due to the rampage by elephants. Even vegetables that grow during - cauliflower, green peas, cabbage, tomato – suffer due to the plunder by the tuskers.


Solution to the problem

To put an end to this problem, the state forest minister Hiten Barman has has decided to form ‘elephant squads’ by providing training to the local young people. The minister sought the help of forest officials in this regard.

Formation of such squads is on progress in Shamkutla and Rajabhatkhawa that come under the Buxa Tiger reserve area.

The farmers have also constructed wooden watch-towers from where they keep vigil at night on a rotation basis. If they sense any movement near the crop-fields, they inflame torches and burst crackers. The forest department has provided them with searchlights, torches, crackers and other necessary equipments. Formation of elephant squads will be more useful.


Empowering people

In some places trainings have already begun to prepare the local people for combating elephants. A squad has been formed in Kumargram-Newlands and Sankosh tea garden area. The tea owner of the tea estate has also made monetary contribution for this innovative project. Trained teams are also being formed in Chuapara, Bhatpara, Mechpara tea estates.

Watch towers are also getting constructed by the forest department in many places.

"Formation of the squads will bring a little relief to us, as we are always living in fear", a local farmer told Team M3.tv.

Hopefully these newly formed squads will be able to tackle the problem at hand.

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Comments (3)
 
Mrinmoy Reply
November 18, 2013
When you come close to forests to live then the imaginary demarcation line is removed. The wild animals may intrude the place you inhabit. They need to be cautious
Promit Reply
November 18, 2013
Hope elephant squads solve the problem, which has been festering for a long time.
Abhijit Roy Reply
November 18, 2013
This is a huge problem which doesn't seem to be solved any time soon, given the current state of things, Railway drivers need to be sensitised urgently.
 
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