TAMIL NADU

Move to solve water crisis in reserve forests

The unprecedented water crisis last summer posed a serious threat to the animals in the reserve forests in the district. In order to avoid such a crisis this year, the Forest Department would soon commence works to create artificial water holes inside reserve forests, said District Forest Officer A.S. Marimuthu.

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr.Marimuthu said animals living in reserve forests in isolated hills of Sirumalai and Kiluvamalai were worst hit by water crisis in summer.

“Elephants and other animals living in the reserve forests in Elumalai and Nallathevanpatti are seen migrating along the Western Ghats in search of water, whereas that is not the case with animals in Sirumalai and Kiluvamalai. Last summer, a few animals died in these two places. So this year, we have worked out various solutions to deal with water scarcity in the reserve forests,” he said.

Artificial water holes would be created in Sirumalai and Kiluvamalai, besides installation of sub-surface artificial cement tanks, Mr.Marimuthu noted.

Cement tanks with a capacity of 3,000 litres each would be constructed at an altitude of 400 metres and water would be filled in the tanks using tractors, he said.

Five spots identified

“We have already identified at least five places in Sirumalai for the purpose, and we are in the process of identifying places in Kiluvamalai,” Mr.Marimuthu added.

The artificial water holes would be dug with the help of the local people. “In Elumalai, we will take the help of local tribal people to dig the water holes in places at a height of 1,000 metres. The forest range has Indian and Nilgiri langurs, sambar deer, elephants and Indian gaurs,” he pointed out.

Indian gaurs, sambar deer and Bonnet macaques were common in Sirumalai and Kiluvamalai, he said, adding Kiluvamalai also had a considerable number of barking deer.

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