Jharkhand legislators concerned over elephant menace

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Ranchi, March 8 (IANS) Legislators in Jharkhand on Tuesday expressed concern over the rising menace of the wild elephants in the state and suggested a elephant-zone be developed in the state.

The issue was raised during question hour by Yogendra Prasad of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

Prasad also demanded hike in the compensation for crops damaged by the elephants.

Joining the issue, another JMM legislator, Stephen Marandi, said: “There is a herd of 20-25 elephants roaming in different parts of the state and damaging crops and killing people. A high-power committee should be formed which will try to find out permanent solution of the issue and to rehabilitate the herd.”

Congress legislator Manoj Yadav also demanded permanent solution of the issue.

Geeta Koda, an Independent legislator, said: “This is a state issue and in some parts this is an inter-state issue. In some areas, elephants come from Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The state government should look into this seriously.”

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Amit Mahto of the JMM said: “There are 970 elephants in the state and the government should form elephant zone so that the elephants could be restricted to that area only.”

Some legislators demanded that the villagers should be trained to drive away the rampaging elephants.

Responding to legislators’ concern, Jharkhand Parliamentary Affairs Minister Saryu Rai said: “This is man and elephant conflict. There is Wildlife Board and the board will look into the issue to find out solutions.”

In Jharkhand, more than 550 people have been trampled to death by the elephants after creation of the state in November 2000.

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