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Posted on Feb 13, 10:58AM | UNI
Dehradun, Feb 12 : The terror of elephants and concern for human lives, specially on the Rishikesh-Dehradun highway, has forced Leader of Opposition Ajay Bhatt to take up the issue with Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.
After the meeting, Mr Bhatt told UNI that it was crucial to save wildlife but it could not be done at the cost of human lives, as the pachyderms had already claimed four lives this month.
The veteran BJP leader said he had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister suggesting various ways to curb the elephant menace in the area which was crucial due to its connectivity to hill districts including Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Tehri, Rudraprayag.
We have suggested that measures like more forest posts, patrolling vehicles, fencing, trenching, arming the forest guards among others be taken to check the menace as the government move to ban traffic on the highway since dawn-to-dusk is not practical.
Apart from being a tourist spot, the area leads to the Jollygrant airport and Jollygrant hospital and it must be kept open, Mr Bhatt said.
He said that it was also stressed that conditions be made conducive for wild animals and their requirements for water and food be met inside their habitat. Still, if there was any rogue tusker, he should be identified and removed from the area, he stressed.
Mr Bhatt said that Mr Bahuguna has asked his secretary to look into the suggestion and take prompt action.
Later, talking to mediapersons, Mr Bahuguna admitted that the problem was serious and there was a terror among people of the area. Since the area involved Rajaji National Park, steps would be taken in consultations with forest officials, he said.