Ernakulam dist to see extensive solar fencing, elephant trenches to mitigate wildlife encounters

An 8km-long elephant trench and 9.25km-long solar hanging fence will be installed in Kuttampuzha and Kavalangad panchayats under the NABARD Scheme.
The forest department will install a 12km-long solar fence in ward no 13 of Kuttampuzha panchayat under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
The forest department will install a 12km-long solar fence in ward no 13 of Kuttampuzha panchayat under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). Photo | Express

KOCHI: The forest department has sanctioned projects to install 133.3km of solar fencing and 8km of elephant trench in Kothamangalam and Malayattoor divisions of Ernakulam district to mitigate human-wild animal conflict, Forest Minister A K Saseendran informed the Assembly replying to the submissions of Kothamangalam MLA Antony John and Muvattupuzha MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan on Monday.

The forest department will install a 12km-long solar fence in ward no 13 of Kuttampuzha panchayat under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). This will be the first project implemented in association with the agriculture department in Kerala. An 8km-long elephant trench and 9.25km-long solar hanging fence will be installed in Kuttampuzha and Kavalangad panchayats under the NABARD Scheme.

Administrative sanction has been accorded for the installation of solar hanging fence to a distance of 30km in Vengoor, Kottappady and Pindimana panchayats of the Malayattoor division. The contract has been awarded to Kerala Police Housing and Construction Corporation.

An 11km-long hanging solar fence has been installed in the Malayattor division at an expense of Rs 28.7 lakh. Temporary watchers have been appointed to conduct regular patrolling. An administrative sanction of Rs 17.11 lakh has been granted for the installation of a 5 km-long solar fence around the Thalukandam tribal settlement of Kuttampuzha panchayat.

Tendering is under process for the installation of a 4.5 km-long solar fence at Pooyamkutty using the Kuttampuzha panchayat fund. Administrative sanction to the tune of Rs 90.19 lakh has been accorded for the installation of a solar hanging fence to a distance of 8km from Poochakuthu to Chelamala and Kalappara to Veliyachal in Kothamangalam division using NABARD fund. A proposal of Rs 1.275 crore has been submitted to install a 15 km-long hanging fence from the Inchathotti hanging bridge to Ovungal Kadavu under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

A 14.5km-long hanging fence has been installed along the border of Thattekad bird sanctuary covering Thattekad, Alanikkalpadi, Koottampara, Puramala Manimaruthum chal and Parakadavu. A proposal of Rs 69.73 lakh has been submitted for installing a 5.70 km long hanging fence under the NABARD Tranche Scheme. The department has opened a 24-hour control room at the Divisional Forest Office in Kothamangalam to respond to human-animal conflict.

A special Forest Protection Force has been deployed to attend to the complaints regarding the conflict. Two Rapid Response teams (RRT) have been sanctioned for Kothamangalam, while three RRTs have been formed under the Neriamangalam range of the Munnar division to mitigate conflict.

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