Rising instances of human-animal conflict, incidents of elephants being electrocuted are on the rise in the state, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India says.
The onus, the report states, lies on the forest department. “The department was unable to secure elephant habitats and corridors and failed to discharge some of its core functions related to protection and conservation of forests and wildlife,” the audit report for the year ended March 31, 2017, which was recently presented in the state assembly by chief minister Conrad Sangma said.
Pointing out that the wildlife divisions were responsible for checking wildlife illegalities in the entire state, the CAG said the forest department had created only five beat offices in the Khasi Hills Division, while no beat offices were set up in the Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills Divisions. The Jaintia Hills Division, ironically, has the highest density of reserved forests.