Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Elephant reserve plan dropped after protest

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SHILLONG: The state government has dropped its plan to declare West Khasi Hills as elephant reserve following protest from several quarters.

A scheme, which would have benefitted the community, will not materialize as the villagers have expressed unfounded fear that they will lose the land once the place is notified as Elephant Reserve, an official source said on Tuesday.

Recently a meeting was organized with the villagers, where everyone opposed the project.

The State has only one Elephant Reserve project which was set up in Garo Hills in 2009.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests S. Kumar said on Tuesday that the State could not notify the Elephant Reserve in view of the resistance from the local people.

The plan of the Government was to declare certain pockets of West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills as Khasi Hills Elephant Reserve.

As per the last census, the number of elephants in the state is 1,811.

Forest and Environment Minister Prestone Tynsong had told the Assembly in March this year that the benefits availed by those residing along the elephant reserve area in Garo Hills had prompted the government to work on another reserve in Khasi Hills.

Tynsong had said that many states in the country which were eager to declare some of their areas as reserve forest never got the green signal from the Centre though Meghalaya was fortunate since the Centre accepted the proposal.

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