Guwahati/ 7th July’2017 (Prag News Desk): The current wave of floods has not only shook villages and townships in the State but this year deluge has adversely affected wild habitats forcing animals to find shelter in human habitations resulting into man-human conflict.
The Assam deluge is affecting 47 revenue circles and 857 revenue villages, took a toll on more than 3 lakh 94 thousand people, necessitating the government to open 128 relief camps to shelter 41,487 flood-affected people.
The floods have already damaged more than 16 thousand hectares of crop area in the State. Moreover, 19 people lost their lives in the flood caused by rising water levels of the rivers like the Brahmaputra, Dikhow, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Beki and Kushiyara.
Incidentally, more than 3,500 animals are displaced so far in Assam deluge, and in accordance to the set speed limit of 40km/hr on highway near national parks and wildlife sanctuary, recently, couple of hit-run cases were registered on NH-37.
The deluge have compelled animals majorly elephants and rhinos to leave the habitat and search for flood-refuge in territorial villages. The very recent incident was of a rhino sheltering itself inside a tea plantation in Tezpur.
On 4th July, couple of rescues were made where two elephant calves were saved from drowning by locals in Balipara and Naokata respectively.
However, the number of rescues are meagre in comparison to the wild lives that are lost this year. Six elephants have lost their lives in the last six months, mostly while trying to penetrate into human territory.
Another impediment during deluge is that the overlaying of territorial habitations have made the one-horned rhinos vulnerable and easy reach to poachers. On June 29th, one rhino was shot by poachers in broad day-light. The rhino was incidentally trying to find refuge during flood but unfortunately ended in bad spot.
On Friday, an entire village was demolished by an elephant herd, as per the conversation with Prag News, the villagers stated that “often during floods, elephants are seen entering our villages, destroying our houses in search of food…there is no government aid thus we are fighting elephants and vice versa.”
It is a grim reality than although the State Government reviewed the flood situation in the State today, directions have been conveyed to the Revenue and Disaster Management Department and the district administrations to reach out to the affected people and step up relief and rescue operations across the State.
The ardent need is to understand that Assam deluge is not only affecting human livestock, our rich biodiversity is at stake.