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Deaths of more wild jumbo calf in Udalguri district resented

The mysterious death of another male wild elephant calf in Udalguri district has drawn sharp criticism from the nature loving people of the district. This has been the case of fourth death in a row in just two months in the district. According to information,the dead body of a two months old jumbo calf was found in line no.5 of Hatigarh TE (very close to Red Horns Division Brigade HQ) on the morning of July 3.The body of the dead calf did not bore any mark of injury but looked very weak and pale.Experts said that the calf could have been suffering from malnutrition. They also said that because of the frequent chasing away of the wild elephant herds,the mother elephant could not spare time to feed her infant causing death to him.So far as many as 14 numbers of wild elephants had been killed in Udalguri district in a year time. Although world wide protests had been received,but neither the government nor the tea garden authorities had shown any interest in the matter. Rather they had been busy with clearing forest lands only.

A large numbers of tea gardens including small ones have been established in the northern areas of the district thereby destroying most of the forest cover in last decades leaving no room for the wild animals. The tea gardens established during British rule too had been expanding their gardens by encroaching more and more forest lands. It is time that the government became serious on matters of land and revenue in the areas. It is learned that the lands were alloted to tea gardens on lease basis (for a period of 30 years generally).But the lease agreements had been prepared hundreds years back and the fixation of revenue was too small. The government could earn good revenues if new lease agreements were prepared with the increased in land revenue. More over most of the tea gardens have been occupying more lands than mentioned in the lease deed. Nature loving people of Udalguri urged Assam and BTC government to take steps so as to find the actual land holdings by the tea gardens with immediate effect. NA few nature loving people of the district also said that forest department could never implement any schemes in the areas dominated by the tea gardens to protect wild animals and birds without involving tea garden managements. Tea garden managements must be told to raise special squads to protect both wild animals and people. But unfortunately the role being played by the tea gardens had never been encouraging .Recently a wild elephant survey team headed by the Circle Office, Harisinga Revenue Circle (Tangla) along with forest and media personals had been refused entry to Hatigarh TE .Tea gardens ,various NGOs and government agencies must work closely to stop the so called man elephant conflict by creating general awareness among people;otherwise of which the conflict would go on causing great loss to mankind.

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Jayanta Kumar Das's picture

Environmental journalist.

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