The West Bengal Forest Department has now decided to act tough against illegal electric fencing around agricultural land adjacent to elephant corridors in the state to prevent frequent electrocution deaths of elephants in such areas.
The state Forest Department has taken this decision after a similar electrocution death has happened on Tuesday at Satali Mandalpara area that comes under the Buxa Tiger Reserve area under Kalchini block in Alipurduar district of West Bengal, said West Bengal Forest Minister Jyoti Priya Mullick.
“Two persons were responsible for this unfortunate death of this tusker. This was a clear case of electrocution death. This will not be tolerated anymore. Those responsible for such a development will be taken to task. I have asked my departmental secretary and head of forest staff to take all necessary action to prevent such electrocution deaths in future,” Mullick said.
Local residents have submitted that often they are forced to go for electric fencing around the agricultural areas and slum dwelling to prevent destruction of crops or dwellings by the tuskers.
A senior officer of the state forest department said that this issue of electrocution death is a long-standing problem in areas through which the elephant corridors pass.
“Throughout the year, our officials posted in such areas constantly conduct awareness-campaigns among the local villagers so that the latter refrain from such illegal electric fencing. If anyone does not follow our instructions, legal actions will be taken against them accordingly.
“But it is also true that the tusker attacks cause immense loss for the villagers at times. So what is required in quick sanction and disbursal of compensation amounts in case of property loss because of tusker attacks,” he added.