Elephant deaths: C”garh govt to step up wildlife conservation

Raipur, Jun 18 (PTI) In the wake of the recent deaths of five elephants in Chhattisgarh, the state government has decided to step up measures for the conservation and protection of wildlife in the state and develop two hospitals with all facilities for the treatment of wild animals.
The decisions were taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday, a public relations department official said.

Officials present in the meeting informed the chief minister that in the last 10 years, the state has recorded an increase in the population of wildlife, including elephants whose number rose from 225 to 290 during the period.

However, since June 9, five elephants have died due to different reasons in four districts of the state.

In view of this, Baghel issued necessary guidelines for the monitoring of wild animals in the state forests and improving measures for their conservation, the official said.

“The chief minister directed the officials to develop veterinary hospitals at the Jungle Safari zoo in Raipur and Kanan Pendari zoo in Bilaspur, and ensure that they are fully equipped for the treatment of wild animals,” he said.

He also instructed to shift doctors serving in the veterinary department to the forest department on deputation, and deploy them in 20 forest divisions where the density of wild animals is high.

Baghel also directed that 10-member teams be set up in each forest division affected by human-elephant conflicts, for continuous monitoring of the movement of tuskers.

During the meeting, it was also decided to do away with the mandatory transport permit required for non- nationalised minor forest produce, the official said.

“This will help people associated with the trade of non-nationalised minor forest produce in its transportation, he said.

It was also decided in the meeting to develop a mobile app for monitoring the working of the forest department”s ground staff and officials and ensure their active presence in the field, he said.

State Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar and Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu also attended the meeting.