ROURKELA:Amid high incidence of intrusion of elephants from Jharkhand forests to Sundargarh district, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden SS Srivastava took stock of situation during his visit to vulnerable areas in Rourkela and Bonai forest divisions. During his three-day visit, the PCCF reviewed the reasons of elephant intrusion and mechanism to curb the menace.
Accompanied by Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) Lingaraj Otta and Rourkela DFO Sanjeet Kumar, who is in additional charge of Bonai Forest Division, Srivastava visited various reserve forests, elephant habitats and corridors and inspected the entry points of elephants close to Saranda forest in Jharkhand.
The discussion focused on efficacy of solar fencing to guard Rourkela city, mechanism adopted to drive away the elephants, maintenance of water bodies in forest areas to create temporary habitats and digging of trenches at strategic entry points from Jharkhand. Srivastava assured all possible support and said the issue would be taken up with Jharkhand Government to contain the elephant menace.
Meanwhile, Rourkela DFO and his Keonjhar counterparts have been included in the inter-State Committee on Elephant to coordinate with Jharkhand authorities.
As many as 19 human causalities and huge property loss due to elephant raids were reported in Sundargarh district comprising Rourkela, Bonai and Sundargarh forest divisions in 2014. While Rourkela and Bonai forest divisions face intrusion of elephants from Jharkhand forests, Sundargarh Forest Division is affected by pachyderms of Chhattisgarh and Sambalpur.
Rourkela DFO Sanjeet Kumar said Srivastava on Saturday visited Barsuan Forest Range of Bonai Forest Division to intensify efforts to spot tigers. “A tigress was noticed twice in 2012 and the field level staff were asked to intensify patrolling and extensively search for evidences. It may help in formulating tiger conservation strategy,” Kumar said.
Incidentally, in 2012, pug marks of an adult tiger and two cubs were also found in Chirubera forest of Bisra range of Rourkela Forest Division. But, it is believed that the tigers spotted then had come from the adjacent Saranda forest in Jharkhand.