DHENKANAL: The authorities of Dhenkanal forest division are experimenting with an automatic siren system on National Highway-55 to alert drivers about movement of elephants. The automatic sensor-based sirens will go off on sensing movement of elephants on the NH which passes through the district. Elephant herds regularly cross the NH at several points often causing disruption of traffic. The automatic devices will reduce human-animal encounters and protect the elephants from accidents.
The siren systems have been installed at two NH points - Haladiabahala and Rasasingha. Divisional forest officer (DFO) of Dhenkanal Prakash Chandra Gogineni said, “In collaboration with an NGO Parivartan, we have installed the siren at two places on experimental basis. After assessing its viability, it will be implemented in other areas.”
The devices can detect elephants approaching the NH through an infrared sensor system. As soon as an elephant is detected, a red light will turn on and the siren will go off alerting traffic on both sides of the road. At the sight of the red light, vehicles plying on the NH will stop to allow elephants cross the highway, the DFO informed.Head of Parivartan Prakash Mardaraj said the technology has come from Coimbatore. The siren system has been successfully implemented in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
“On detecting elephants, the device will also alert the divisional forest office basing on which officials can monitor movement of the jumbos. After the siren systems were installed at Haladiabahala and Rasasingha, there has been no movement of elephants on these stretches of the NH,” Mardaraj said.
Depending on its success here, the system will be installed at other places in the district, he added.