ONGOLE : Before the start of the just-concluded summer, forest department officials had taken several steps to cater to the drinking water needs of wild animals.Wild animals, including tigers, bears, wild dogs and deer, stray into the villages near the forest in search of drinking water and food.
For instance, a bear visited Rama Yogi Mattam in Taticherla village of Komarolu mandal and Gudimetta village in Racharla mandal, leaving the residents in a grip of fear. The Nallamala Forest’s Pedda Dornala range officials had prepared an action plan to provide sufficient drinking water to all the wild animals by constructing check-dams, bunds, small water ponds, and setting up saucer pits with tankers and deep water borewells run by solar energy in the forest areas to avoid incidents of human-animal conflicts.
Before the summer, the forest officials spent around `20 lakh to construct check dams, rock fill dams, bunds, saucer pits and deepening of old ponds. Water sources such as Puli Cheruvu, Peddarutla, Pothuraju Kunta, Pedda Tanda Cheruvu, Chinna Mantanala Tanda Cheruvu were deepened to make more water available for wild animals.
In Chinna Mantanala, forest officials had set up three deep borewells with solar motors to provide water to the wildlife of the dry and uplands of the forest. The department had also constructed four check-dams in Chilakacharla and Chinna Nantahala forest limits at an estimated cost of `10 lakh.It also constructed seven rockfill dams in Chinna Mantanala to make more water available for wild animals.
In the recent rains, all these water sources are filled, catering to the drinking water needs of wild animals of Nallamala forest. “Check dams, rockfill dams and saucer pits were constructed and water pits and ponds were deepened to provide sufficient drinking water to the wildlife in the forest and increase the groundwater level in the area. Rain water harvesting pits play a key role in increasing the groundwater levels,” Visweswar Rao, Forest Range Officer, Dornala, said.