Over a fortnight after a wild elephant created havoc on villagers and killed four persons, the State Forest Department has swung into action and deployed a special squad to hunt the animal. In last two weeks, the elephant has killed four persons, including a pregnant woman and an old woman in the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.

SHILLONG: Despite the Supreme Court ban on illegal tree felling and trade, unauthorised saw mills are still operating in West Garo Hills.

As high as 49 per cent of Meghalaya's population lives in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) margin while the East Garo Hills district has topped the BPL list in the state with 55.94 per cent families living in abject poverty. Official sources said here today that in the Jaintia Hills district, the number of such families registered was the least with only 33.51 per cent living below the poverty line. Similarly, the Ri-Bhoi district recorded 49.94 per cent of such families with altogether 32,590 households in the BPL list.

Famine caused by bamboo flowering is an indirect phenomenon that happens in 30 to 40 years depending on the species of the bamboo. Senior Congress legislator and NEHU Head of Department of Botany Dr RC Laloo told The Sentinel that bamboo flowering does not directly lead to famine but it occurs after rats have shortage of food. He said when rats feed on the high-protein seeds of bamboo, flowers start to reproduce while their population doubles leading to shortage of seeds. Therefore, the rats are left with no option but to attack the paddy fields, Dr Laloo said.

Meghalaya, a small state in the North Eastern region of India, is inhabited by different indigenous communities, mainly of Mongoloid origin. Of the approximately 2.3 million population, about 85 percent live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

Northeast's man- war from both sides

S Diwali approaches, villagers in some parts of I Assam and Meghalaya are buying crackers, but for a different reason altogether.

A United States-based company, Azure Power, has proposed to set up a solar plant in Meghalaya with one time investment of Rs 150 crore to generate 10 megawatt of solar energy.

The US-based solar power producer firm having its international headquarters at California and its headquarters in India at New Delhi, has already negotiated with the State Government for signing the solar power purchase