06 April 2020
Bhubaneswar: In the last financial year ending on March 31, 115 people were killed and 132 were injured in 204 human-elephant encounters. Yet again ringing the warning bells is the news of eight people getting within six days of April.
The Wildlife Society of Orissa raised its concern on the increasing number of encounters with humans over the years. In a press note, the society’s secretary Biswajit Mohanty says that large scale mining and quarrying, industrialization, destructions of elephant corridors, obstructions to traditional elephant movement paths by railway lines, national highways and irrigation canals, deforestations, etc has, in turn, put the human civilizations at risk.
He adds that the figures could well be one of the highest human casualties ever recorded in a particular year in any state in India. Last year’s figures are very alarming considering the fact that on average, the year witnessed approximately a human-elephant encounter every two days and a human got killed every 3 days.
Comparing district-wise, Angul district which witnessed the single biggest tragedy ever in Odisha of 5 human deaths within hours on a single day on April 19, 2019, recorded the highest human deaths last year – 22, followed by Dhenkanal – 21, Sundergarh – 13, Mayurbhanj – 11, Keonjhar -10 and Sambalpur – 8.
Alleging Forest Department of the Government of Odisha of not doing enough, Mohanty has requested for intervention to control the spiralling number of human casualties.