India, Bangladesh join hands for safe cross-border elephant migration
GUWAHATI: Human migration may remain a contentious issue between India and Bangladesh, but not for elephants. The two countries are working with their respective external affairs and home affairs ministries to ensure that jumbos can cross the international boundary with ease.
"We (India and Bangladesh) are cooperating on trans-boundary conservation of elephants. And safe cross-border migration of elephants is one of the agenda of our cooperation. We have submitted our proposal to our external affairs and home affairs ministries for approval so that elephants are allowed smooth passage across the international border. So far the response of the ministries have been positive," union ministry of environment forest, environment and climate change (MoEFCC)'s Project Elephant inspector general, R K Srivastava told TOI here on Thursday.
Srivastava said Bangladesh is also working with their respective ministries on the issue of trans-boundary elephant conservation and migration.
Experts said cross-border jumbo movements are primarily affected by border fencing, which at many places are right on the elephant corridors.
Srivastava said the problem of cross-border elephant movement due to border fencing is mostly in Meghalaya's Garo hills areas and in Tripura. In West Bengal, he added, there are only stray incidents of cross-border migration as there is no elephant habitats as such across the border.