Uttar Pradesh: Two herds from Nepal damage several acres of crops in
elephant corridor of Dudhwa (India)
Kanwardeep Singh, The Times of India
July 20, 2021
BAREILLY: Forest department officials are keeping a close watch on two
herds of elephants from Nepal that have destroyed several acres of standing
sugarcane and tender paddy crops cultivated in forest areas in Dudhwa Tiger
Reserve (DTR). An estimated 10-15 acres of crops have so far been destroyed.
According to forest department officials hundreds of acres of forest land
have been given on lease to farmers by the revenue department. The matter
pertaining to the department’s efforts to evict them is now pending in
court. The cultivated land is part of the corridor used by elephants since
time immemorial to move between Nepal and India. Every year, at the onset
of the monsoon, herds migrate from Nepal’s forests to Dudhwa.
This year, both herds have a young calf each making it all the more
important for the officials to closely monitor their movement to ensure
safe passage and avert possible man-elephant conflict.
One of the herds is camping around the Singahi forest range and appears to
be heading towards Katarniyaghat forests. The other one has been sighted in
Mailani range of DTR near Sultanpur village. It appears to be migrating
towards Pilibhit Tiger Reserve.
Anil Patel, divisional forest officer, DTR (buffer), told TOI, “These herds
have newborn calves. We have checked their movement pattern and found that
they are following the same path which their ancestors had taken. The herds
destroyed the cropped fields which were once a part of the buffer forest
area but currently encroached upon due to various reasons.”
The department’s foremost concern, said Patel, was to ensure that there is
no repeat of the 2019 human-elephant confrontation when two wild tuskers
killed five men after they strayed from their migratory path and reached
Rampur via Bareilly and Pilibhit.
Another challenge, the DFO said, was to protect the wild elephants from
electrocution. The power department had been told to repair all low hanging
and faulty lines near forest areas and ensure transformers are installed at
a height. Farmers have been warned that an FIR would be registered against
them if they do not remove electric fences around their cultivated fields,