BALASORE: The proposal of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) to launch a state-of-the-art e-patrolling system will be extended to all tiger reserves across the country in a coordinated manner by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
A month back, STR authorities had decided to initiate e-patrolling in the core areas of the fourth largest tiger habitat as a pilot project and sent a proposal to the Government seeking funds for smooth and swift implementation of the innovative surveillance system.
According to the project proposal, of the total 94 anti-poaching camps in STR, e-patrolling was to be started in 60 camps, including 30 vulnerable pockets, in the first phase. This would have helped the forest officials keep a tab on the forest personnel engaged in deep forest areas.
Deputy Director of STR Ajit Kumar Satpathy said under the project, each patrolling team will be given a smartphone enabled with global positioning system (GPS) and android-based operating system. Along with patrolling, the team can also capture photos of the area and send those to the office. “Smartphones with android 4.0 software or its updated versions are required to get perfect GPS reading even without the facilities of Internet network. With these facilities, the officer at the base station can know the exact position of the patrolling staff inside the forest,” he said.
The STR authorities said they had sent the proposal for purchase of 60 android-enabled smartphones for the first phase, which was to start by the end of this month.
But, with the NTCA willing to implement the project in all tiger projects, Satpathy said, the surveillance system is likely to be more advanced and coordinated. “A committee has been constituted and experts asked to study ways to make it a success. They can also improvise the available software so that the senior officials at Delhi can know the position of a forest guard deep inside STR,” Satpathy said, adding that they are expecting the system to function within a month or two.