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Man-animal conflict mitigation: TN government allocates Rs 7.2 crore for Coimbatore forest division

- June 23, 2022

Chennai, June 23 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu government has allocated Rs 7.2 crore rupees to mitigate man-animal conflict in the seven forest ranges under the Coimbatore forest division.

Artificial Intelligence-based e-surveillance cameras would be installed on a pilot basis in the Madukkarai forest range under the Coimbatore forest division. It is to be noted that this area is vulnerable to man-animal conflict with wild elephants frequenting the village areas bordering forest lands. Three wild elephants recently dying after being hit by a moving Mangalore – Chennai express train in the Madukkarai forest range  on November 26, 2021, had led to a major confrontation between the Tamil Nadu forest department and the Southern Railway. This incident triggered the forest department to install AI-based e-cameras.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu forest department told BPNS that based on the success of AI-based e- cameras, the project will be implemented in more forest regions.

The forest department officials conducted inspection across railway tracks A and B in Solakkarai and Ettumadi areas in Madukkarai forest range. S.  Ramasubramaniam, Conservator of Forests and field director of Annamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) led the inspection carried out by the forest department officials on Wednesday.

The forest department is planning to install at least two cameras for every kilometer and also an AI-based e-surveillance camera in a span of three kilometers. Sources in the department told IANS that these cameras would immediately share data of wild elephants moving to railway tracks to the field-level staff who can drive them away from being hit by moving trains.

Messages will be sent to the Loco Pilots through the Railway station master on the presence of Wild elephants leading to slowing down of the trains.

Forest department officials also told BPNS that after a month of trial in the Madukkarai forest range the service of the AI-based e- cameras would be used in the remaining forest ranges of Coimbatore.