India has around 101 jumbo corridors, of which 13 are in the jungles of North Bengal, which stretch up to Assam. The elephant corridor in North Bengal is the most popular hotspot for migration of the jumbo population. Jalpaiguri’s Society for Protection of Ophiofauna and Animal Rights is on a mission to mitigate the rising human-elephant conflict in the Dooars.

The environmental group along with the state forest department, the Wildlife Trust of India and three other organisations will come together to take part in a meeting at Murti, which is in the midst of Chapramari forest and Garumara National Park. It will focus on eight jumbo corridors in Dooars and discussions will be held on ways to tackle the rising menace in the tea gardens there.

Shyama Prasad Pandey, Secretary of Spoar, said, “The eight jumbo corridors include more than 50 tea gardens. Most of the incidences of human-elephant conflict occur at night. We are trying to convince the tea garden authorities not to impose any restrictions on the movement of elephants, which may drive the herd into new areas of human-elephant conflict.”

He also said that the organisation is gearing up to impart training along with the state forest department to the quick response team of the tea gardens on ways to drive elephant herds to safer areas. “We are looking ahead to propose to cordon off the tea garden labour colonies in order to make it safe. The meeting will also throw light on the number of tea garden labour colonies that need to be fenced,” he said.

Pandey also pointed out that as of now, the state forest department has taken up an initiative to cordon off two tea garden labour colonies. “Work is underway to set up fences around Bamundanga and Jadavpur tea gardens in the vicinity of Garumara National Park. Besides this, we are involved in field surveys in order to assess whether jumbo herds have changed their historical corridors for the time being.”