Indian Army Wants Translocation of Elephants in Assam

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News Desk

The Indian Army has asked the Chief Secretary of the State to ‘relocate’ the elephants of the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) in the city in view of the damages caused by these pachyderms to the facilities at the Narengi Military Station, or otherwise, to pay compensation for the losses caused by them.

Major General Jarken Gamlin, General Officer Commanding, 51 Sub Area Headquarters on July 3, 2020 sent a letter to Assam government to either relocate elephants of a wildlife sanctuary adjoining its base on the eastern edge of Guwahati or compensate for the damages caused by animals during frequent raids. Major General says ‘attacks’ by elephants on Narengi Military Station cost the Army at least ₹15 lakh in last six months. There are an estimated 40 elephants in the 78.64 sq km sanctuary but the Army was specific about three that caused much of the damage. He reminded the government that the military station was the Army’s logistic hub for the entire northeast. These infrastructure assets are frequented by elephants and they are causing substantial damage not only to infrastructure but also to critical logistic stores. Giving a list of the measures taken by the Army to prevent these pachyderms from entering the Army facilities at Narengi, the Major General said in 2002, a project was undertaken by the Army authorities to install iron barricade to protect critical assets. However, these had to be dismantled in 2019 due to the safety concerns for elephants raised by the Assam Forest Department. Stating that the Army have continued to remain committed towards peaceful co-existence with the wildlife of Guwahati, the Major General apprised the Chief Secretary of the prophylactic measures undertaken by the Army to ward off the elephants. These deterrent measures include – digging of anti-elephant ditches, installation of electronic elephant repellents, placing of recorded sound of bees etc. However, these measures have not been found very effective, the Major General maintained.

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