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Elephant corridors getting fragmented: Sharma

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Traditional corridors of elephants and their habitats have been "fragmented" due to utilisation of forest land for agricultural purposes and development works, including construction of irrigation dams and railway lines, the government said today.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma said this fragmentation has caused "human-elephant" conflict.
In 2017-18 (up to November 2017), 275 people have been killed due to "human-elephant" conflict while an ex gratia amount of Rs 590.76 lakh has been awarded, he said.
The minister said in 2016-17, 515 persons were killed and a compensation of Rs 1477.959 lakh was given.
"The traditional corridors of elephants and their habitats have been fragmented due to utilisation of forest land for agricultural purposes, development works like hydro-electric power process, irrigation dams, canals, transmission lines, rail lines, roads etc. Such fragmentation has caused human elephant conflict," Sharma said.
He said securing of elephant corridors, including acquisition of land and removal of encroachments along the corridors, is the responsibility of state governments, although the ministry provides financial and technical assistance to states for this.
The ministry has requested all states through letters sent on August 24 and November 17 last year, and May 1 this year to protect elephant corridors for the long-term conservation of Asian elephants, Sharma said.
He said the ministry has also advised them to acquire land for this purpose, if required.
"Some states have secured some elephant corridors by procuring the private lands or by relocating the families from the areas falling within these corridors," the minister said.

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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 6:10 PM IST

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