Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 6:
In order to keep an eye on hunters and poachers as well as other illegal activities in Odisha’s forests, the state government is planning to install CCTV cameras in different forest divisions.
“CCTV cameras would be installed in forest divisions as part of protective measures,” said secretary of Forest and Environment Department RK Sharma said during the 60th Wildlife Week celebrations here on Sunday.
The Forest secretary said such facilities are already in place in two tiger reserves like Similipal and Satkosia for enumeration of big cat population, CCTV cameras would now be used in vulnerable pockets to identify poachers and hunters.
Forest department sources said CCTV cameras have been installed in Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary and such systems need to be extended to other places for better wildlife protection.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests ( PCCF) J D Sharma said the cameras would help in checking poaching, smuggling, encroachment on forest land and other illegal activities. The cameras will be installed at various entry points, check-gates, core areas and vulnerable points.
250 CCTV cameras would be installed in various forest divisions such as Chandaka, Ghumsar, Bamra and Similipal in the first phase, he informed.
While at least 378 elephants have died in Odisha between 2009-10 and 2014-15, 35 elephants have fallen prey to poaching during the same period. Another 17 have died of poisoning.
The Forest department is concerned over large scale elephant poaching in the state, the sources said.
PCCF Sharma said, the CCTV cameras would be installed on trees to help prevent poaching inside the forests.
Sambalpur wild life division has been identified for the next round of installation of CCTV cameras, the sources added.