According to reports, the wildlife department of Odisha has decided to spend Rs five crore to prevent elephant attacks on human beings by installing more portable solar fencing in the villages that have witnessed such incidents.
“We will spend the money earmarked for elephant corridor management. Portable fencing can be removed from a place, where concentration of wild elephants has been reduced and where there is no report of the animals entering human habitats. The fencing are so designed that it can be uninstalled and reinstalled at another place,” said the principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF, wildlife) J D Sharma.
He pointed out that fencing has helped reduce casualties because of animal attacks. “We have asked all divisional forest officers, who have been tackling the elephant menace, to provide us with the requirements. They have identified the vulnerable villages, where the solar fencing can be put up. The total length of fencing will be nearly a thousand,” said Sharma.
He said, while this year elephant attacks claimed 20 lives, last year the number was 80. Sources said in the last seven years, 57 human deaths each year were reported.
Sources said, though 80% of the elephants dwell in 12 sanctuaries of the state, the remaining 20% pose serious threats to human habitats. According to the 2010 Census, 1,886 elephants live in 28 districts of the state.
The vulnerable districts are Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Deogarh, Sundergarh, Koraput and Ganjam.