Jumbo-menaced Chhattisgarh to get two elephant reserves

February 19th, 2009 - 1:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Feb 19 (IANS) The central government has approved a proposal of Chhattisgarh government to create two elephant reserves in the state that has witnessed 23 human deaths by wild jumbos in the past 10 months, a minister said Thursday.
Admitting that the state’s northern region comprising of Surguja, Koria, Jashpur, Raigarh and Korba districts are worst-hit as wild jumbos run amok in villages, Forest Minister Vikram Usendi told reporters the first reserve would be set up in Badalkhol forests of Jashpur district combining Timorpingla forests of Surguja.

The second elephant reserve is to come up at Lemru forest of Korba district.

“Both reserves are to be created under Project Elephant for which the state government has made provision of Rs.1.45 crore (Rs.14.5 million) in fiscal 2009-10,” Usendi said.

The state government told the assembly Feb 11 that wild elephants trampled 23 people to death and demolished 775 houses in Chhattisgarh’s forest areas in the last 10 months for which government has paid Rs.3.45 million (Rs.34.50 lakh) compensation to victims’ families and Rs.2.34 million (Rs.23.43 lakh) to those whose houses were destroyed.

The government had also paid a little over Rs.10 million in the past 10 months to 8,129 people whose crops were destroyed by wild elephants.

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