9-km rail fence to check elephants menace in Hassan

A herd of elephants at a forest in Hassan district. (DH File Photo)

The Forest department has decided to lay a nine-kilometre rail fence as a permanent solution to check wild elephants menace in the Malnad regions of the district.

A plan has been prepared to lay the rail fence near Doddabetta in Alur taluk, and the works will commence soon. The department needs Rs 1 crore to lay 1-KM rail fence and a proposal has been sent to the state government for approval, said Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Sivaram Babu.

The state government, in it's budget, has earmarked Rs 200 crore to check elephants menace. The menace will be completely controlled in the district, in the next four years, he said. The elephant menace is rampant in Alur, Sakleshpur, Yesalur regions and all measures have been taken to check the elephants from entering human habitats.

Declined since 2018

The Forest department has taken several initiatives to check wild elephant attacks on people on the fringes of the forest. According to the officials, the elephant menace has declined from 2018. Except, one death of a man in an elephant attack on August 18, no such incident has been reported, till date, said officials.

According to the DCF, there are nearly 50 wild elephants in the Malnad region of the district. Three female elephants are fitted with Radio collars to track their movements.

The authorities have formed 27 Rapid Response Team (RRT) to attend emergencies and a camp have been established where RRT is functioning. Each RRT comprises four staff, who works round the clock on shift basis. Each camp has a facility to house a trained elephant, which will be used to chase away rouge elephants.

Geo Tracer app

The Forest department has developed ‘Geo Tracer’, a mobile application, and nearly, 4,000 persons have installed it to their smartphones. The people can get alerts on the elephants' movement on their mobile phones, using the application. The alert will be circulated every morning and in the evening.

In addition, a ‘Whats App’ group, comprising coffee planters, people's representatives and local people, have been formed to alert about the animals' movement.

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