Bhubaneswar: 6 km concrete wall proposed to prevent man-animal conflict

A few days back, the IMA had also written to Chandaka DFO about elephants entering into their campus by breaking the boundary wall.
Representative Image
Representative ImagePhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: The rising instances of elephant movement along the periphery of the state capital that shares its border with the Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary has prompted forest officials to propose construction of a compound wall to prevent incidents of man-animal conflict.

Officials of the Chandaka wildlife division said construction of a 14 km-long concrete compound wall is required. They have sent a proposal to the PCCF (Wildlife) for construction of the wall on a 6 km stretch from Bharatpur Nature Awareness Centre to Khandikhani at an estimated cost of Rs 54 crore.

The Bharatpur reserve forest and Jagannathprasad forest spread across 20 square km close to the capital city are part of Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary. Around 15 elephants have colonised the area which is beyond the carrying capacity.

With many residential areas as well as institutions like Institute of Mathematics and Applications (IMA), DN Wisdom International School, Central School, Utkal Hospital, Care Hospital, Institute of Life Sciences and Institute of Water Management present within 200 metre of the sanctuary and Bharatpur-Jagannathprasad sector, the elephants sneak into human habitation by breaking the existing stone wall.

An adult tusker had strayed into Daspur-Andharua area of the city putting forest staff in tizzy. Chandaka DFO Sarat Chandra Behera said their teams are monitoring movement of the elephant that had recently entered into Bharatpur forests from Khurda.

A few days back, the IMA had also written to Chandaka DFO about elephants entering into their campus by breaking the boundary wall.

The DFO said Chandaka already has 1.75 km stretch of concrete compound wall. However, more stretches of such wall is needed as a long-term solution.

However, to ensure free passage for elephant movement, they have also planned two underpasses.

Forest officials said construction of an 8 ft concrete wall will also help in reducing biotic interference as people residing in adjoining areas of the sanctuary enter into it frequently and throw garbage besides releasing waste water which puts wildlife health at risk.

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