Trenches planned to stop jumbo intrusion into Sundargarh - The New Indian Express

Trenches planned to stop jumbo intrusion into Sundargarh

Published: 23rd September 2013 11:55 AM

Last Updated: 23rd September 2013 11:55 AM

Rourkela Forest Division plans to set up  Elephant Proof Trenches (EPTs) at five locations on an experimental basis to prevent elephants from sneaking into the district through adjacent Jharkhand forest.

With man-animal conflict becoming a regular problem in Sundargarh district, the Forest Department has assured all help to take up the EPT project at the earliest.

However, local forest officials fear that Maoists and People Liberation Front of India (PLFI) members may pose a problem as their free movement between the two States would be hampered by the trenches.

Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) SC Swain said the v-shaped trenches would be constructed at entry points of the elephants.

Funds required for the project is estimated to be Rs one crore and a feasibility report would be sent to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest within a fortnight.

The trench would be cut at Purunapani of Patipahar reserve forest under Birmitrapur range to cover two to three km of entry route. The trench length would be 30 to 40 km to cover entry points at South and North Chirubera besides South and North Sukuda forest of Bisra range.

Rourkela DFO Sanjeet Kumar said trench cutting has become a necessity in the backdrop of elephants damaging properties and crops besides claiming human lives.

According to reports, in the last nine months, the Rourkela forest division saw six deaths, while a compensation of above Rs 1 crore was paid to victims of elephant attacks last year. Recently, elephants have entered Rourkela city twice.

Bisra range officer SC Sahani said 44 elephants in three herds are still present along Odisha-Jharkhand border. A separate herd is present at Banki range.

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