COIMBATORE: In an serious effort to mitigate man-elephant conflict, the officials of the Coimbatore forest department has come out with various measures to tackle it. The forest department will soon introduce ‘Project Kaliru’ in which officials will carry out several ground-level pre-emptive management initiatives and massive awareness programmes.
According to sources, the project envisages steps to set up adequate lighting in the ‘red corridor’ panchayats near the forest boundaries, where wild elephants frequently visit, in the six forest ranges of Coimbatore forest division.
Developing a elephant-friendly town and country master plan was stressed in the ‘Project Kaliru’. “The main aim of the project is to bring down the total number of fatalities to zero and reduce the number of crop and property damage by wild animals. We will also take steps to recover the elephants traditional migratory routes,” said M Senthil Kumar, District Forest Officer, Coimbatore forest division.
The DFO said that they will also try to secure the participation of all stake holders. The department has decided to conduct frequent meetings with brick kiln owners in Thadagam, and urge them to stop the use of palmyrah in brick kilns, since wild elephants are attracted by the smell of palmyrah.
“We will also insist the mining department to take action against violation of kilns,” said the official.
The forest department will carry out strategic study of Elephant Proof Trenches (EPT), improve methods for driving away wild elephants entering human habitations, strengthen barriers and recovery of traditional migratory routes will also be done by the forest department.
Officials of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department and the district administration, WWF (Technical), OSAI an NGO, and Zoo Outreach Organisation, will carry out these tasks and massive awareness programmes.