Ranchi: The menace of Pachydrems in Jharkhand has brought a tragic end to the life of more than 800 people and accounted for heavy financial losses. Keeping the fact in mind, the Forest Department of Jharkhand has come up with the blue print of a five year plan to reduce the human-elephant clashes and prevent the damages.

The project worth Rs 60.17 crore will have the participation of local residents and aims to reduce the menace of tuskers in 557 villages of the region. In the last 11 years, elephants have killed more than 800 people in the state.

Under the Forest Conservation Act, the damages caused by the elephants would be compensated through the central fund Kempa given to the forest department. This is for the first time that with the help of kempa, a five-year project concentrated on the elephants is being prepared. Work under this project would be done from the current year till 2015-16.

Work under this project:

•    A local watch tower will be made in every sensitive village which will be managed by the villagers themselves.
•    Taking the fact into consideration that elephants are not comfortable in light, a solar power street line would be installed; villagers would be provided with big torches to chase away the elephants.
•    15 flying squads will be formed. Every squad would include one vehicle, 10 labour and skilled forest staffs who can keep the elephants at bay
•    Communication network will be set up in all 557 sensitive villages. One villager will be provided with a mobile phone which will be directly connected to the DFO and Flying squad of the particular division. This will be a close user network which cannot be misused for any other purpose.
•    The Forest department would provide the Joint Forest Management (JFM) with some funds to buy crackers and torches. The JFM team will also be imparted training to abstain the elephants from entering the premises.

Year        People killed by elephants

2001-02                     93

2002-03                     94

2003-04                     90

2004-05                     90

2005-06                     91

2006-07                     69

2007-08                     65

2008- 09                    63

2009-10                      54

2010-2011                  65

JPN/ Bureau