Odisha to develop ‘forewarning’ system to track elephant movements

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is planning to prepare an advance protection plan to track the movement of elephants in various parts of the State, informed the newly-appointed Chief Wildlife Warden and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Ajay Kumar Mohapatra. During an exclusive interview to OTV today, Mohapatra said that the advance protection plan will identify the corridors with frequent elephant movements and make plans in advance to ensure obstacle-free passage for the jumbos. Efforts will also be made to mitigate man-animal conflicts in the state and productively manage the existing wildlife programmes of the department, Mohapatra said.

“We are going to develop a forewarning system on elephant movements. We will come up with an advance protection plan that will involve seasonal route mapping for elephant movement in various corridors and predict their movement in various seasons,” the chief wildlife warden said.

On efforts towards bettering inter-department coordination to save lives of animals, Mohapatra said “We are holding quarterly meeting with the railway and electricity departments. We are considering power cuts and slowing the speed of trains in various elephant corridors.”

Mohapatra also said that Wildlife protection and management is a challenge for the State and they will promptly take up awareness and participation programmes and ensure quicker disbursement of compensation for damages in man-animal conflicts.

Commenting on the animal exchange programme at Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Mohapatra said, “We will be discussing the programme with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), concerned ministry and the State government and take steps accordingly.”