The Dhenkanal forest department plans to install automatic sirens near its national highway to protect elephants from accidents.
These sensor-based sirens will blare when elephants cross the road to alert drivers within a distance of upto 1km.
“Concerned over the elephant deaths, we started to look for innovative ideas to save them. The Dhenkanal forest department plans to install automatic sirens near the NH in different places of district. As soon as the elephant arrives, the siren will ring and red light will turn on. The forest officer will also receive a message on his mobile phone,” said Dhenkanal DFO Prakash Chandra Gogineni.
The pilot project has been initiated by ‘Change’, a voluntary organization working in the field of elephant protection in collaboration with the Dhenkanal Forest Department. The scheme is being implemented for the first time in the Rasasingh area under the Dhenkanal Sadar Range in the elephant-prone area.
The siren tower is located along National Highway 55. The tower has a red light with a sensor and a siren machine.
The elephant siren project has been started experimentally near Rasasingh and Haldiabahal on the Dhenkanal-Anugul National Highway 55, said Gogineni.
“Elephants have been killed in train and road accidents. The system will put an end to the elephant-man fight. Not only will elephants be safe, but forest dwellers can also be protected from elephant attacks. There is also an Elephant Over Passing Project under the Kapilas Range to protect elephants from train accidents which will be implemented in collaboration with the Department of Railways and Forestry. As part of this project, elephants will be able to move under the Elephant Over Pass,” said environmentalist Sisir Satpathy.
“Depending on the success, we will implement the project in other parts of the state,” said Gogineni.