Bhubaneswar, August 8 (Odisha.in) Orissa government has prepared a master plan for Elephant management, which envisages reducing man-elephant conflict, official said Wednesday.
As part of the plan, as many as 200 large tanks would be dug up and around 2000 Km of trench fencing would be taken up in all 48 forest divisions of the state to provide safe habitats to the jumbos, Hrusikesh Panda, Secretary, state Forest and Environment department told to Odisha.in.
The work on the trench fencing and digging up large tanks inside the forest areas with elephant habitats would start after the rainy season. This would help reduce the
Man-animal particularly the man-elephant interface, which has grown in recent years in the state, he said.
Admitting that mining activities and setting up of various projects and industries in the periphery have led to the shrinking of elephant corridors that forced the jumbos to enter the human habitations, Panda said that plantation of trees suitable as fodders for the elephants would also be taken up in a massive scale.
These programs would help contain the pachyderms inside the jungles and provide adequate employment generation and help to earn their livelihood by other meaningful ways to the local people to discourage to enter the forests for their needs, he added.
Besides, considering that the highways are hindrance to their movement, the forest department has already sounded the Works department in charge of building roads in the state to prepare plans to provide safe corridors for the elephants at least with provisions of under-passes, he said.
Orissa has three elephant reserves- Mahanandi, Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur . The pachyderm population is growing in the state with a healthy male female ratio, and the number is 1862, which shows the seriousness of the state government in protecting the Jumbos, Panda said.
However, he disapproved the idea of providing safe habitats for elephants by declaring some of the forest divisions as exclusive national parks. “Government is for protecting all the wild life. But, in the name of protecting the elephants, we can not throw over ten thousand families staying inside the forest areas to the Bay of Bengal”.