Concerned over the increasing incidents of elephant-human conflicts, the Centre will hold a high-level meeting with jumbo-range states.

Concerned over the increasing incidents of elephant-human conflicts, the Centre will hold a high-level meeting with jumbo-range states here next week to find ways to improve their habitat.

“Almost all states are grappling with increasing jumbo-human conflicts due to habitat degradation resulting in disappearance of corridors,” A N Prasad, Director of Project Elephant, said.

He said the meeting will be held on November 5 in the capital with Kerala, Jharkhand, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Uttarakhand, and other elephant-range states besides Northeastern states to work out an action plan for restoration of corridors ensuring free movement of the pachyderms.

The decision to hold the meeting was taken at a national conference on forest ministers a few months ago when various states pointed out that man-elephant conflict was becoming a serious issue in their areas, endangering the life of these big-bodied nomads as well as people.

Herds of wild elephants straying from shrinking habitats in Orissa and Jharkhand have killed at least 30 people in Chhattisgarh so far this year.

In Orissa, around 280 wild elephants have been killed in the last five years, most of them falling prey to poaching and electrocution.

Assam, which has around 5,281 wild elephants, is facing a similar problem with man-elephant conflict claiming 23 lives this year.