Man Animal Conflict in the State of Meghalaya
The major cause of depredation in the State of Meghalaya is attributed to elephant. The high elephant concentration in the State coupled with their long range movement through fragmented forests, which cuts across human population and agriculture field leads to frequent man animal conflict situation. The regular practice of shifting cultivation takes a heavy toll of biodiversity conservation which raises the conflict level as well. There is no proper land use policy in the State hence people do not abandon their home-stead or agriculture field which invites recurrent depredation problem.
The State Government does notify the scale of ex-gratia to be paid on a case to case basis depending upon the type of depredation loss, but it is observed that the quantum of budget provision, mainly funded under the Central Sector Scheme, is insufficient to clear the total amount of demand for ex-gratia compensation. This leads to building up of backlog payment for ex-gratia amount, often causing anxiety and distress among the victims.
During the current year the Government of Meghalaya has systematically consolidated the pending claims of people dating as early as 93-94 upto March 2006 and the claims of 9770 people amounting to Rs. 2.47 crores approx has been submitted to the Government of India seeking one time assistance to liquidate the amount. The matter is being pursued sincerely to obtain sanction for this amount. It may however be noted that no claims for loss of life or injury to person is outstanding since ex-gratia under this category is given top most priority for clearance.