The Forest Department will erect solar fence to a total length of 12 km along the periphery of select reserve forests in Tiruchi Circle in the current financial year to prevent man-animal conflicts.

The State government has sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs. 24 lakh this fiscal to execute the solar fencing work in vulnerable stretches along the boundary of reserve forests to check animals from straying into human settlements and damaging their agricultural fields situated on the forest fringe areas.

The Tiruchi Circle comprises Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Perambalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam divisions besides Social Forestry Division headquartered at Tiruchi. The department officials have identified Pulivalam, Omandur, Vellakalpatti, Yedhumalai, Semmalai and Karuppureddypatti reserve forests in Tiruchi district this year to carry out the fencing work in the identified stretches.

Complaints of animals barging into human habitations have been reported in Tiruchi, Thuvarankurichi and Manapparai forest ranges. Forest Department authorities said they had received complaints of bisons straying into villages situated along the periphery of reserve forests in Thuvarankurichi and Manapparai ranges and causing damage to the agricultural fields. In Tiruchi range, complaints of wild boars entering villages located in the forest fringe areas had been reported.

Erection of fence along forest fringe areas was an attempt to prevent man-animal conflicts and protect the plantations raised by the villagers, a senior official said.

Ever since the programme was launched in the district in the 2006-07 financial year, the department had erected solar fence to a length of 35 km in vulnerable stretches along the periphery of Omandur, Vellakalpatti, Kannuthu, Pulivalam, Semmalai and Karuppureddypatti reserve forests , the officials said.

The department had constructed water turfs inside the Thachamalai reserve forest in Thuvaranckurichi range address drinking water needs of wild animals. The department had given Rs. 45,000 as compensation to four beneficiaries in the district last year for the damage caused by animals.