NIZAMABAD: In order to keep wild animals within forest areas, Forest department officials have decided to construct solar-powered drinking water centres on either side of National Highway 44 between Kamareddy and Indalwai in the erstwhile Nizamabad district during the 2021-22 financial year.
The Forest department staff had earlier set up more than 300 sources of water in 1.65 hectares of forest area along the stretch to provide drinking water facilities to wild animals.
However, officials had felt that there was a chance that wild animals that come out of the forest to drink water might be at risk of being hit by vehicles plying on the highway. Two years ago, a leopard that had come out from the forest died on the railway track near Sirnapally.
Recently, senior officials visited Nizamabad and advised district officials to arrange solar-powered drinking water sources along the highway. Officials say there should be one water source in every nine square km of the forest.
Officials have already completed construction of such water sources at Mamidimally beside National Highway 63 in the district. The cost of the current project is Rs 5 lakh. Speaking to The New Indian Express, District Forest Officer (DFO) Dr Sunil S Hiremath said the department took steps to increase the populations of wild animals in the forest, and it had yielded results.
Due to this, in some areas, there were reports that some animals were coming out from the forest, thus causing fear among villagers. Hence, the department decided to concentrate on improving drinking water facilities in the forest, so that animals don’t venture out in search of water.
He said currently there are around 300 sources in the forest. “We have also set up cameras to keep track of movements of animals. We will take more steps to ensure that wild animals remain within forest areas.