EOI, Port Blair, 11 Jun 2016: West Bengal forest minister Binoy Krishna Burman wants the Centre to seriously look into the solar fencing installed by Nepal along the India-Nepal border near Darjeeling, in a bid to prevent elephant herds from crossing to and fro.
He argued that such fencing disrupts the natural movements of the wild elephants and could also lead to human casualties. The minister today held an important meeting with forest officials of north Bengal at the Sukna forest bungalow.
After the meeting, he said, “The solar fencing erected by Nepal along the border with India is causing harm to wildlife. Animals do not know of any borders and their movements should not be disrupted. Since it is an international matter, the West Bengal government cannot take any action; hence we have sought the central government’s intervention. We have already sent a letter to the concerned ministry in Delhi.”
Nepalese authorities recently installed solar fencing along the Mechi river to protect crops, property and human lives, especially in villages such as Baundangi, Mechidangi, Nakalbanda and others in eastern Nepal. But wires and pillars in several places of the 17-km fencing have since been stolen, facilitating elephant herds to enter Nepal and cause mayhem.
Burman also discussed the shortage in forest personnel, firearms and other essential equipment needed to tackle wild elephants at night, and promised to appoint more personnel.