To keep a check on the declining numbers of elephants in the state, the West Bengal government on Saturday, October 17, launched a campaign to prevent deaths from electrocution.
The campaign was launched in areas adjoining elephant habitats in the northern part of the state. It covered villages and tea gardens of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts where recent deaths of elephants due to electrocution were reported, according to state Chief Wildlife Warden VK Yadav.
This is an attempt to make the community a part of the awareness and protection drive. Yadav, however, said that the campaign will be officially flagged off by the Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee on a later date
"Forest personnel are asking locals through public address systems to report illegal hooking and fencing of fields and tea gardens with live wires.
"We are making people aware of the need to protect our wildlife and report criminal activities," said Yadav, reported Outlook India.
Eleven elephants have reportedly died in north Bengal so far this year, of which six due to electrocution. Sensitising people was the need of the hour, he stated.
Priority has been given to areas adjoining Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara and Gorumara national parks, he said.
"We have also launched the campaign in villages and tea gardens in Bagdogra and Naxalbari areas of Darjeeling district," Yadav said.
The issue of electrocution deaths of the elephants was discussed with the additional chief secretary of the Power Department and he has given instructions to his officials to take strict action against offenders, he added.