The Telegraph
Saturday , October 1 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rs 40cr way to check elephant migration
- Water resources department to build corridors over canals criss-crossing Dalma

It’s a jumbo plan, which will ensure that Jharkhand’s elephants remain its own.

The water resources department is working on a project to build an elephant corridor over canals passing through Dalma range under Subernarekha Multipurpose Project (SMP). These passages will be built at 12 places at an estimated cost of Rs 40 crore.

While the Centre will bear 90 per cent of the total expenditure, the remaining 10 per cent will be provided by the state. Once completed, the corridor will play a crucial role in checking migration of pachyderms to Bengal, which, in turn, will boost the elephant population in Jharkhand.

Last year, the forest and environment department had complained that the Subernarekha canals in Dalma range were causing great inconveniences to tuskers, who often deviated from their path after failing to cross the water bodies. In search of alternate routes, they often venture into crowded hamlets and cross over to Bengal.

Consequently, a joint team of forest and SMP senior officials began a survey last July. They identified 12 points where elephant passages in the form of bridges or simple boulder corridors needed to be built. The prominent among them are Patachainpur, Kanderbera, Ramgarh, Patipani, Lylum I and II. As water resources minister Sudesh Mahto also heads the forest and environment department, securing the state government’s consent was easy.

“We figured out that around 200 elephants were wandering in Dalma. None was a rogue elephant. But if they are being disturbed unnecessarily, at times, they lose their cool. A corridor needed to be constructed so that the herds can move freely and remain in Dalma zone,” said SMP chief engineer Braj Mohan Kumar, who was involved in the survey.

In fact, the water resources department has already released work orders at Patachainpur and Kedarbera. The tenders for other places will be finalised soon. Officials have been directed to ensure that work was over in the current fiscal. “The tenders for the remaining places will be finalised in the next few weeks. We have adequate budgetary provisions for this project,” said water resources department’s engineer-in-chief Ram Murat Ravidas.

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