Kohima: First-time MLA Achumbemo Kikon on Thursday expressed his concern over the human-animal conflict along the Nagaland-Assam border.
Participating in the discussion on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address during the third day of the ongoing state Assembly session, Kikon highlighted that core points like policy interventions to address the alarming increase of elephant corridors in the state were missed out despite a mention of projects and activities undertaken by the Department of Forest, Environment and climate change.
Kikon, who won the seat from Bhandari Assembly Constituency, said the Governor’s address makes no mention of a long-term policy to address the issue. “Herds of elephants destroy paddy fields and take human lives every year. There is no mitigation to this. So I feel that there needs to be a long-term policy. We have to consider whether we allow elephants to survive or humans to survive,” Kikon said.
As compensation for damages, he said that hardly Rs 10,000-20,000 are given to the poor farmers by the department. He questioned what alternative the poor villagers have if they are made to abandon their paddy fields and give up cultivation which is their sole means of livelihood.
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He then pointed out that farmers along the interstate border are affected due to the human-animal conflict. Of 400 elephants in the state, he said that over 200 are estimated to be freely roaming in the area.
The increasing elephant corridor in the state, he said, is a major concern as it increases day by day. He also urged the government to work out policies to mitigate human-animal conflict in the state.
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