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High alert in Dalma over presence of elephants before Shivratri trek

Over 50,000 devotees trek the Dalma hill to reach the Shiv temple at the top

By Jayesh Thaker in Jamshedpur
  • Published 19.02.20, 12:17 AM
  • Updated 19.02.20, 12:17 AM
  • 2 mins read
Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary (Bhola Prasad)

The presence of around 40 elephants on the foothills should not pose problems to the devotes climbing the Dalma hill for Shivaratri on Friday.

The Mango range office is making elaborate arrangements to prevent man-animal conflict to ensure a peaceful Shivratri.

The authorities are on a high alert over the presence of elephants on the foothills of the 192 sq km sanctuary, 30km from Jamshedpur.

Over 50,000 devotees mostly from Jamshedpur, Chandil and Ghatshila trek the Dalma hill to reach the Shiv temple at the top. The devotees will go uphill on February 20 and descend the following day.

The range office has earmarked Makulakocha, Chimti and Dauhulbera as check points. Medical camps will also be set up at these three places, besides the one at Fadlugora, the main entry point from where most of the devotees proceed to the Shiv temple.

Two range officers, as many foresters, 20 forest guards, 42 trackers (village youth recruited as daily wagers to keep tab on animals) and 120 labourers will be on duty for three days from February 20 to 22. Four vehicles will also be deployed for swift movement.

“The 7km stetch from Fadlugora to Ganesh temple inside the sanctuary will be illuminated with help of generators. The stretch will be cleaned for the convenience of devotees,” said Dalma range officer (West) Dinesh Chandra.

According to him, presence of huge number of people during Shivratri would be a challenge and adequate arrangements were being made keeping this in mind.

About the presence of elephants on the foothills, he said the herds would not pose a problem as trackers have been specially asked to keep a watch on their movements near the climbing route and pass on information at the earliest.

“The herds will be chased away in case they are found near the route,” he added.

“Elephants generally don’t harm people unless irritated. Elephant attacks generally result in death or bone fracture. People usually get injured because when they come across herds they tend to run in panic and in the process fall and get injured. Our vehicles will be on service to ferry the injured to medical camps of nearby hospitals,” a forester said.

The vehicles would have first-aid boxes, the forester said.

He added that strict security checks will be carried out at Fadlugora, Chimti, Makulakocha and Dahulbers to prevent devotees from taking any inflammable items along.

“It has been seen that some devotees burn tyres inside the sanctuary. We would like to prevent this to stop any spread of fire inside the sanctuary,” the forester added.