Dharmendra Pradhan writes to Odisha CM over rising man-elephant conflict

Dharmendra Pradhan has written a letter to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik urging him to take steps to address human-elephant conflict.

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written letters to his cabinet colleague Bhupender Yadav and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urging them to take steps to address human-elephant conflict in Odisha.

In his letter to Yadav and Patnaik, the Education Minister has expressed deep concern about the escalating number of elephant deaths, and straining elephant-human conflict in the state.

Over the past decade, Odisha has witnessed the loss of 784 elephants, with 245 of these deaths occurring in the last three years alone, he said.

“The month of March this year has been particularly devastating, with seven elephant deaths being reported–the highest in the past three years. Sadly, most of the deaths are due to poaching, electrocution or train/road accidents,” Pradhan said.

Citing state Assembly data, he said that a total 2776 wild animals, including 416 elephants, have been killed in the past five years (2017-18 to 2021-22) in Odisha.

Further, Pradhan mentioned that 669 people and 741 domestic animals died, and 9151 houses were damaged due to elephant attacks.

“Elephant conservation is of paramount importance to Odisha, as these majestic animals are an integral part of our ecological balance, cultural heritage, and the state’s identity. The well-being of these creatures is essential for maintaining the health of our forests and the livelihood of local communities that rely on them,” he said.

Stating that the central government has shown commitment to wildlife conservation, the Union Minister said the Centre’s efforts in expanding the protected area network and launching project elephant have set a strong foundation for the protection of these gentle giants.

Considering the critical situation in Odisha, he sought the intervention of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change’s and Odisha government to ensure the harmonious coexistence of humans and elephants in Odisha.


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