Pilot project: Hanging solar fence installed in Odisha’s Keonjhar to curb elephant deaths

Joda: With rising cases of elephant deaths in Odisha, a pilot project of ‘hanging solar fence’ was started and the facility was installed today near creche hating railway crossing of Jurudi under Joda block and Champua forest range in Keonjhar district to save the pachyderms in future.

The solar-powered fence will help keep jumbos away from railway lines and save them from being hit by trains. Joda-Bamebari state highway (SH) is located near this level crossing and is in the close vicinity of a forest. As elephants keep wandering near the level crossing, they often face fatal mishaps.

Electric current with a total volt of around 10,000 will flow through the hanging solar fence 24 hours a day, which will not allow any wild animal to come in contact with the facility. However, jumbos coming in contact with it by chance will suffer a solar power shock for around 3 milliseconds. The jolt will not be fatal at all, but keep the animals at bay. A siren will also blow to deter them from moving ahead.

In the first phase, the fence has been installed on a large patch of land stretching from creche hating up to Behera hating. The pilot project was inaugurated by Joda block chairperson Kabindra Naik in presence of Keonjhar divisional forest officer (DFO) Dhanraj HD, a senior official source expressed.

It is pertinent to mention, at least three elephants died near the Behera hating under the Joda block of the district few days ago after being hit by a train. Subsequently, the pilot project was thought of.

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