Trenches and solar lights to keep away elephants from human habitations in Seraikela forest division
The Chandil range office under Seraikela forest division has sent a proposal to the state forest department to dig trenches and install solar lights to keep away elephants from human habitations.
“The proposed trenches will be dug extensively on the forest land on the border of Kutum, Serim and Pilip, three villages which are the entry point of the migratory elephants from Khunti district, and also in Matha as well as Bagmundi range of the Purulia forest division in neighbouring Bengal,” Chandil range forest officer Ashok Kumar said.
He pointed out that every year the Chandil range spends over Rs 70 lakh in compensation for crop loss, house damage and to dependants of those killed by elephants.
“Given the expenditure being made for the compensation amount, the cost in the trench digging and solar lights installation will be much less. Precious human lives will also not be lost any more,” said the forest officer.
He said the elephant-proof trenches would be 10ft wide and 7ft deep. The solar lights would be installed close to the trench line so that the elephants keep away. He said the solar lights shoot rays in three colours, making it look like a spreading fire — something that scares elephants.
“But the light system will work for the night only, we will have to get the trench dug for preventing the tuskers during the daytime,” the forest officer said. He said the trenches would be dug on a 14km stretch, and that they were expecting a nod from the forest department shortly.