Bhubaneswar: Odisha will soon have a world class veterinary wildlife hospital. The hospital will be built in Chandaka forest area, said an official press release issued today.
Chairing a State level meeting on ‘Elephant Protection and Conservation in Odisha’ at the Lok Seva Bhawan here Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy directed to build a world class veterinary hospital for wildlife in the State, the press release added.
The hospital could be developed to a centre of excellence with advance knowledge, equipment, research and development activities, said Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment Mona Sharma.
Chief Secretary Tripathy directed for adoption of focused intervention approach for development of elephant habitats in the State considering its present forest spread and elephant population.
A day after announcement of Special Livelihood Intervention Package for forest sector in post-COVID lockdown scenario, the State Government today initiated a slew of steps for creating more wage employment opportunities in the sector.
Chief Secretary directed the department to create more wage-employment opportunities for people by sourcing funds from MGNREGS.
It was decided to build three under passes on NH-55 in Dhenkanal, Redhakhol and Athmallik forest divisions during this year to save elephants from traffic accidents.
Tripathy directed that the DFOs and DISCOMs should be in regular interaction with each other for minimizing the electrocution death of the elephants.
He directed to keep strict vigil over miscreants and criminals intentionally hanging the live wire to kill the elephants for ulterior motive.
It was decided to take drastic legal steps against such criminals and expedite the process of prosecution.
The meeting resolved to intensify elephant protection and conservation activities in elephant habitats like Mahanadi, Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur elephant reserves spreading over around 8509 sq km, through plantation of the species generally consumed by the elephants.
Around 23 such species were identified and listed.
The proposal for weed eradication, meadow development, fodder plantation along with creation of more water bodies were approved in the meeting.
Additional Chief Secretary Sharma appraised about existing 14 elephant corridors in the State.
It was decided to further develop two corridors namely Similipal-Hadgarh and Barunai-Nuagada corridors.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Harisankar Upadhaya appraised that as per a study conducted by Asian Nature Conservation Foundation Center for Ecological Sciences of IIS, Bangalore around 1700-1800 elephants can be sustainably managed within larger forest landscapes of Odisha.
The elephant population in Odisha has shown an upward trend during last seven years. In the year 1999 the total elephant population was around 1827 which grew to 1862 in the year 2007, and then to 1930 in the year 2012, and, further to 1976 in the year 2017.
Special Secretary Forest Lingaraj Otta, Additional Secretary Sashi Paul among other senior officers participated in the deliberations.