The rise in temperature has prompted forest department officials to
take stock of water availability atop Dalma sanctuary to ensure
animals, particularly elephants, have enough to help them cool off.
The department said the sanctuary’s major watering holes have adequate
water to meet the summer demand.
“There are 72 (perennial) waterholes in the sanctuary. They have been
categorized as large, medium and small according to their size. All
major waterholes have sufficient water,” said divisional conservator
of forest (DCF) of Dalma sanctuary, Kamlesh Pandey.
The 72 waterbodies comprise ponds which are 15-20 ft deep and are at a
reasonable distance from each other across the 192 sq km area of the
sanctuary. Also, around 40 artificial ponds (10-12 ft deep) will also
ensure water supply.
Pandey said the de-silting exercise that the department carried out
recently resulted in the re-filling of a majority of water bodies.
“The sanctuary is being monitored to keep a check on elephant
movement. So far, there have been no reports on elephants descending
on the foothills in search of water,” said Pandey, adding that
currently there are around 90 elephants wandering in the Dalma forest.
Pandey, who is also the field director of the Jamshedpur Elephant
project, added that isolated incidents of elephants making their way
to the foothills while travelling to Dalma from adjoining Bengal have
“Elephants coming from Bengal through the Patamda route will continue
in the summer,” added Pandey.
He also said that if the need arises to fill the waterholes, water
tankers will help ferry water.
Forest department officials said the region experiences good spells of
rain in summer and that there should be no need for water tankers.