Forest department to try solar hanging barricades to stop jumbos (Mysuru)
Times of India
September 13, 2021
After trying out elephant-proof-trenches, solar fencing, railway barricades
and solar hanging barricades, the state forest department is set to test
‘solar powered rope barricades’ to deter elephants from entering human
habitations and raiding crops.
The department will conduct a pilot experiment at Male Mahadeshwara Hills
Wildlife Sanctuary in Chamarajanagar district, which has one of the highest
elephant populations in the state.
Movement of elephants along the Cauvery river in the sanctuary is common as
elephants are assured of fodder and water along the riverbed throughout the
year. But over the years, various projects including mini-hydel projects
have come up across the river bed, and elephants were forced to move out of
their habitat into nearby agriculture lands and human habitations resulting
in human-elephant conflicts.
Foresters have decided to install a solar powered rope barricade system
which will have anchor posts made of concrete pillars at every 250 metres
with seven galvanized steel live spacers with insulators and specially
designed 14mm jumbo rope barriers secured with bulldog clamps. The fencing
will also be attached with a hanging fence.
The multiple rope lines with solar power connection will be capable of
preventing wild animals from venturing out of the forest.
Sanctuary DCF V Yedukondalu told TOI that the initiative will be the first
of its kind in the state. “We have submitted a detailed project report
(DPR) to the PCCF to take up fencing on a 16-km stretch along the forest
border. The 7km fencing at Hanur range and 9km fencing at PG Palya range
will be taken up soon. We are waiting for funds to be released,” he said.
Yedukondalu said the rope barricade will have larger 14 mm cables as
against the 2mm cables in regular solar fencing. “It will be double
protection. It will be more effective than railway barricades. One
kilometre of rail barricades cost Rs 1.7 crore, but we have seen elephants
crossing the rail barricades. But rope barricades cost around Rs 50 lakh
and are effective in preventing elephants from crossing the barricades,” he
Wildlife activist Goluru Basavaraju told TOI that the encroachment of
elephant corridors is also a cause for human-elephant conflicts. “Foresters
must take up initiatives like fencing forest borders to prevent conflicts,”
Gundlupet farmer Mahadevappa told TOI that regular raids by elephants and
destroying crops have worried farmers. “There should be some permanent
solution to protect farmers from wild animals including elephants,” he said.