2 waterbodies to keep jumbos away (India)


Times of India

Date Published
BHUBANESWAR: To prevent entry of elephants into habitations, the state government has planned to develop two mega waterbodies in Kuarmunda and Bisra forests of Sundargarh district.
The decision was taken by the state government following the growing number of incidents of jumbo menace in the state.
“Due to massive depletion of forests, the elephants are entering human habitations in search of food and water from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The two waterbodies would be developed on around 4 to 5 acre each. Plantations will be taken up around these. It will provide food and water to the animals, thus preventing their entry into villages,” said an officer of the forest and environment department.
The government plans to create more such waterbodies in other parts of the state, official sources said.
According to a report, around 600 people died in the state in last 10 years in elephant attacks. In August this year, 10 elephants entered Rourkela and parked themselves near Vedvyas temple. In July 2013, another herd of jumbo had entered the Steel City.
Funds for creation of waterbodies would be released from the Odisha environment management fund trust headed by additional chief secretary (finance) U N Behera. Also, to mitigate summer heat, the state government plans to create massive plantation on two hills, Budharaja and Durgapur, in Sambalpur and Rourkela respectively.
The government is also planning to develop an ecotourism-park at Rairakhol in Sambalpur district. To encourage people’s participation to increase green cover in the state, the Odisha government has also planned to develop a smruti van (memory garden) on 5.4 acre near Patrapada on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. “It would be open to public to plant a tree in memory of anyone of their family in the garden,” the official said.