In an attempt to conserve rainwater and use them in the lean months of summer, three more check dams are being constructed in the sprawling Dalma wildlife sanctuary. The facility is expected to become operational before March.
The facilities are coming up on natural drains inside the sanctuary. Rainwater coming down from uphill will flow into the check dams once they are in place. The check dams are coming up near Kathjor, Dahulbera and Asanbani villages inside the jumbo abode.
The rainwater used to otherwise flow into the Subarnarekha river and Dimna lake from the Dalma hills. There are around 30 check dams and a dozen watering holes inside the sprawling 192 sq km sanctuary abode, 30 km from Jamshedpur.
Dalma range officer (West) Dinesh Chandra said the check dams will help in conserving water. Elephants and other animals will have ample water. Generally, water bodies inside the elephant abode go dry in April and May.
Moreover, the facility will also help villagers get water (for farming) from overflowing check dams. "Presently, water is being pumped out for the construction of check dams. Villagers are using this water for farming," he added.
The abundance of water will also help maintain the groundwater level at the Pinderbera forest guest house, located around 14km from the main entry gates at Makulakocha. Though the Pinderbera facility is not let out to tourists, who are accommodated at three residential quarters near the guest house. Tourists and forest staff at Pinderbera face an acute shortage of water as the water table goes down in peak summer.
Some check dams already exist near Badka Bandh, Nichla Bandh, Chotka Bandh, Rajdoha and Bijli Ghati.
More jumbos move uphill
Meanwhile, more elephants who have returned from the jungles of West Midnapore and Bankura in neighbouring Bengal, have moved uphill and are seen near check dams and watering holes.
The scenic Dalma sanctuary is currently closed for tourists in view of Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the state government. Tourists are missing the jumbos (stationed uphill) in their playful best near watering holes.
The forest range office in Mango (Jamshedpur) has alerted villagers in view of the presence of elephants who are still stationed downhill.