Bhubaneswar, Sept 20 (LocalWire): The state government today announced the installation of a Rs 20 lakh-worth watchtower at Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary for effective tracking of elephants and other wild animals.
The forest and environment minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, who visited the sanctuary to review the wildlife management said, ‘Rs 20 lakh has been released to build another watch tower.
A strategic site at Hajabandha area of the sanctuary has been selected for its installation and work will begin shortly.’
Currently, the sanctuary has 12 watchtowers. However, it is inadequate as the sanctuary is spread over a vast expanse of 193.39 square kilometres.
The watch towers are vital components to keep vigil on the migration pattern of elephant as the sanctuary lies close to Bhubaneswar.
In the past, elephants sneaked into the city area sparking off man-elephant conflict.
Therefore, forest personnel have been asked to maintain night patrolling besides keeping vigil by on foot to track elephants in advance, he said.
The sanctuary lying on the fringes of Odisha’s bustling capital city is a virtual treasure-trove of flora, fauna and biodiversity.
Apart from elephants, it is also home to a number of threatened wild animals and birds.
The langur, the macaque, three types of deer (spotted deer, barking deer, and mouse deer), wild pig, porcupine and hare, panther, sloth bear, hyena, wolf, fox, jackal, mongoose (common, small, ruddy), civets (small, palm), tree shrew and pangolins are found in abundance in this human-interference-free wildlife zone.