Rail fence to dot path along BNP connecting City

PTI File Photo.

Rail fence to dot path  along BNP connecting City

The Forest department plans to barricade all exit points of the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) using rails to ensure that elephants do not stray into human habitations.

Being home to a large number of elephants, there have been several cases where jumbos have strayed out of the forest areas in search of food and water.

The department has begun identifying vulnerable points along the 10-km path connecting the City to barricade them using rails.

“A team of professionals from non-governmental organisations, along with the BNP staff, have been surveying the area from December 27. The report will be sent to the Forest department for approval. Tenders will be called and ground work begun. The aim is to complete fencing the Bengaluru side by March 2015, not disturbing the natural corridor,” BNP Director Sunil Panwar told Deccan Herald.

“We aim to complete the 10-km stretch by March 2015. Though this is the peak season of crop raids and elephants stray out, we have managed to ensure no conflicts occur and crop raiding is minimal by regular monitoring and solar fences.

We will procure rails directly from the railways, before the costs escalate. The solar fences will remain. Rails will be laid in places where solar fences and elephant-proof trenches are not possible, such as river beds and areas with loose soil,” Panwar added.

The department has estimated that it would require between Rs 1 crore and Rs 1.25 crore to lay a kilometre of rail fence.

Besides labour charges, it includes purchasing rails, transport by train to the nearest station and then by road to the site and fencing.

It has been observed that female zoo elephants at the Bannerghatta Biological Park attract many wild tuskers. Hence, the exit point from the zoo to the City will be blocked, but not the patch connecting the zoo to the forest.

The department is also planning to start work on some permanent problematic areas – close to Doddanekere and between the BNP and Kaggalipura. While the forest officials have managed to keep elephants, especially those coming from Tamil Nadu, at bay, they are unable to control 11 elephants which are roaming in two groups between Savandurga and Tumakuru.

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