March 5, 2018
COIMBATORE: Various steps have been taken to minimise man-animal conflict under Kaliru Project, including construction of water tanks and digging trench to prevent elephants entering human habitats, a senior Forest Department official said on Monday.
The Rs.1.38 crore project being implemented in seven forest divisions of Coimbatore District, is involving tribals, villagers living in areas bordering forests and creating awareness on the security aspects, Coimbatore Circle Conservator of Forests M. Ramasubramaniam said.
Stating that water tanks have been constructed for the benefit of animals (that stray into human habitats to quench their thirst), he said that trenches have also been dug to prevent elephants moving into these areas.
Of the 105 water tanks, 78 tanks were renovated recently and water changed once in a week, he said.
Similarly thermal cameras have been installed near the trenches, which would monitor the movement of animals from a distance of two kms, he said adding that one such camera was installed in Maruthamalai and more cameras will be placed in the future at strategic points bordering forests.
The department on trial basis is cultivating vegetable and other crops, usually destroyed by animals, in a 10 acre of land at a cost of Rs.10 lakh near Mettupalayam, so that they do not enter the farmers’ fields and damage the crops, he said.
Stating that two kumkis (tamed elephants) from Chadivayal camp – Pari (31) and Sujay (47) – are on rotation basis being taken to Mudumalai and Anamalai, Ramasubramaniam said that in their place John (26) and Cheran (31) are being brought from Mudumalai to Chandivayal camps.
“These kumkis are helping to tame other elephants or drive away rogue ones which stray into human habitats to the jungles,” he said.