Bhubaneswar: There has been significant rise in the man-elephant conflicts in Odisha which is evident from the fact that 82 people were killed in separate elephant attacks till February 2018.
Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray in response to a question, informed to Odisha Assembly on Wednesday that 66 persons had died in elephant attacks in 2016-17 while 82 people were killed, 55 others injured in 2017-18.
Herds of wild elephants have destroyed 1,119 houses and standing crops in nearly 5,401.98 acres of land in different parts of the state.
It is alleged that the government has failed to formulate any concrete strategy to prevent the elephants from barging into human habitats which primarily leads to such man-animal conflicts.
Similarly, 143 wild animals including 11 elephants, 10 leopards, 1 tiger and 119 deer were killed by poachers during the last four years in the State.
Routray informed that Odisha government had 522 anti-depredation squads and one Wildlife Protection Squad has been formed to put a check on poaching incidents.
"State Crime Cell has been constituted under CID, Crime Branch to nab the miscreants involved in the poaching of wildlife. All assistance is being provided to forest officials to put a check on smuggling and trafficking of wildlife animals and products with coordination from Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)," the Minister said.