UP to get new elephant reserve soon
Pilibhit, May 12 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh will soon get a new elephant called 'Terai Elephant reserve (TER)', under the Central government's project elephant initiative.
The new reserve will be developed in the joint forest area of Dudhwa and Pilibhit tiger reserves in Uttar Pradesh and is likely to be notified within two months.
Sanjay Singh, the chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh, said, "The new elephant reserve, which has been approved in-principle by the Government of India, will be known as Terai Elephant Reserve (TER). The project aims to protect wild elephants, their habitats and corridors. Additionally, the reserve would also help in mitigating human-elephant conflict in the Terai region, thereby, protecting farmers and villagers living in the Indo-Nepal border areas of Pilibhit and Lakhimpur Kheri."
Singh further said, "We will not need to frame any additional rules and regulations for TER as the norms of an elephant reserve have precise similarities with those of a tiger reserve in terms of ensuring the safety, security and the protection of forest and wildlife."
The TER will stretch over 3,000 square kilometres.
"As per a 2020 estimation exercise, the DTR presently has 149 wild elephants in addition to 25 camp pachyderms including male, female and calves. Many of the total wild elephants in DTR had migrated from Royal Shuklaphanta wildlife sanctuary of Nepal to find their new home in DTR due to conducive conditions of food, water and unhindered shelter," said the official.
Meanwhile, the divisional forest officer of PTR, Naveen Khandelwal, said that after the notification of TER is issued, the farmers of many Pilibhit villages, including Ramnagra, Dhakia Talluke Mahrajpur, Gunhan, Gorakhdibbi and others, would be brought under the broader aspects of compensation against the damage to their crops caused by Nepalese elephants every year in monsoon season.
They will then be eligible to claim the financial assistance extended by the union government in addition to the one given by the state.