Drone cameras to protect elephants on backburner in Srikakulam
The installation of drone cameras to track movement of elephants in forest and agency area has remained on paper for the last several years.
Srikakulam: The installation of drone cameras to track movement of elephants in forest and agency area has remained on paper for the last several years. After receiving inputs from the forest and police officials, experts proposed to arrange drones in Srikakulam agency area.
The installation of drone cameras is aimed to track elephants' movement round-the-clock and to protect forest wealth and to prevent Maoist movement. In 2007, 11 elephants entered Vizianagaram and Srikakulam agency areas from Lakheri forest area of Odisha.
Subsequently, some elephants were shifted to Odisha forests and another two elephants died and four elephants remained in the forests. These elephants have been damaging crops in agency mandals. Another four elephants have entered forest area of Mandasa mandal in the district in 2015 and eight elephants moving in the forest area and killed 12 persons so far.
Forest officials and staff are facing tough task to track the elephants round-the-clock and it will be easy to trace movement of pachyderms with installation of drone cameras.
Srikakulam agency area is being used as shelter zone for Maoists and recent dump surfaced near Donubai in Sitampeta mandal also proved it. To spot the exact movement of Maoists and for prevention of their activities, vigil with drone cameras is essential.
Drone cameras will play major role in protecting forest wealth also and help in checking illegal smuggling of timber. Illegal mining is also rampant in forest area particularly in Meliaputti, Sitampeta, Veeragattam, Bhamini and other mandals.
Initially, the district administration proposed to arrange four drone cameras across the agency with an estimated cost of Rs 16 crore. But the proposals are remained on paper.
"Government is yet to give its nod for drone cameras" Divisional Forest Officer (for territorial wing) G Laxman told to The Hans India.