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Elephant Day observed at Hatigarh

On the occasion of 57th Wildlife Week,Forest and Police observed “Elephant Day” at Hatigarh in Udalguri district on October 1.It needs mention that first week of October has been observed as Wildlife Week and first October as the “Elephant Day” in Assam. More over first October has also been observed as “Police Raising Day” in the state. Keeping in view the on going “Man-elephant conflict” which poses serious threat to ecology in Udalguri district,the observation of the day day is welcomed by all nature loving people in the district as a positive step towards mitigating the conflict. Hatigarh had been selected as the venue because of the presence of more than hundred wild elephants searching for food and water in the near by villages.

Dhansiri Forest Division,Udalguri organised a central programme at Santipur near Bongurum close to Indo-Bhutan international border. Once known as a Reserve Forest,Bongurum is now completely encroached by people. No tall trees are seen now a days in Bongurum.A colourful procession of children marked the beginning of the celebration at 8.30 AM. Hundreds of children wearing masks tigers, bears, monkey, deers lion, elephant etc took part in the procession holding play cards in hands. Speaking on the occasion,Bankim Sarma,DFO,Dhansiri Forest Division explained about the behaviour and psychology of the wild elephants. He also gave a few important tips on how to avoid confrontation with wild elephants. Several distinguished guests namely- Debajit Deuri, SP, Udalguri; Kulen Talukdar,ADC; MP Sharma, PD, DRDA; Hitesh Baishya and Sanjay Gogoi of WWF (India); Dipen Boro, Advosor and Buddhi Ram Boro,President of Udalguri district ABSU; Dinesh Brahma, President, Harisinga ABSU attended the central programme which was presided over by Dipen Boro. WWF North bank Landscape Programme arranged videos on wild elephants for people and children.Both Forest and WWF distributed 10 search lights,posters and crackers etc among the villagers,who had been suffering most due to elephant depredation.

Another massive programme was also arranged at sector No.25 in Hatigar TE by Udalguri police.It was observed as a part of the “Police Raising Day” on October 1 Ganesh puja was arranged well inside the tea garden near the forest area at 10 AM followed by offering of banana trees and salts for the waiting herd of hundred wild elephants. It was a never before scene to watch more than hundred wild elephants with calves watching Ganesh Puja and offering from a close distance. TR Pegu,SDPO,Bhergaon Sub-divion and brain behind all the activities told media and people on the spot that 25 trucks load of banana trees and one truckload of salts had been placed at three locations simultaneously namely- Hatigar belt,Nonai belt and Bornadi WLS belt for wild elephants. He further said that due to massive deforestation activities the wild elephants had been compelled to roam in the nearby villages in search of food. Replying to a question,he said that situation had improved after four time distribution programme launched three weeks ago.Debajit Deuri,SP,Udalguri attended the programme as the chief guest. Rana Baruah,Senior Manager of Hatigar TE along with all his staff also attended the programme offering full cooperation.

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Jayanta Kumar Das's picture

Environmental journalist.

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