New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) The government Friday set up a task force headed by a Delhi University professor for effective conservation and management of elephants, both of the wild and captive tuskers.
‘A task force on Project Elephant has been constituted. It will provide detailed recommendations to upgrade the project to bring about a more effective conservation and management of wild as well as captive elephants in India,’ the environment and forest ministry said in a statement.
‘This will give a fresh impetus to this project. The task force will submit its report by the end of May 2010,’ the ministry said in a statement.
Mahesh Rangarajan, a history professor of Delhi University, has been appointed the chairman of the task force, which will have 10 members and has been tasked to prepare the report.
The committee shall recommend measures to strengthen elephant conservation in the country keeping in view the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and suggest amendments needed if necessary.
It will devise an institutional framework for Project Elephant, exploring its functioning at the central and state government level with the objective of ensuring that it receives the impetus and is brought at par with Project Tiger.
The task force will identify, catalogue and define the elephant reserves and ranges at the landscape level. It will simultaneously develop a framework for preparing long-term perspective plans for elephant ranges, and examine issues relating to human-elephant conflict and recommend appropriate short-term and long-term solutions.
The committee will recommend appropriate methodology for the tracking, estimating and the monitoring of wild elephants, and measures for specialised training of the field staff in the states.
The task force will also devise ways on how best to conserve the captive elephants while understanding the socio-cultural and religious sentiments attached to it. The committee will also devise ways for training and certification of mahouts, veterinary care, creation of rescue centres and monitoring of captive elephants.
Besides, it will develop general and uniform rules for the better upkeep and care of captive elephants.