India — JAMSHEDPUR: Taking lessons from the past, the Dalma wildlife division is exercising utmost caution to prevent the outbreak of forest fire this summer. The department has worked out a slew of measures, including strict monitoring of tourists who visit the forest area on the hilltop to watch elephants bathe in the waterbodies.
“The 56 sq km core area (in the forest cover) where elephants beat the summer heat by playing in the water, is under the watchful eyes of our personnel,” said divisional forest officer, Dalma wildlife division, Kamlesh Pandey. He said, in the past, forest fire during the peak of summer would create panic.
“We would expect tourists to follow our rules and avoid carrying matchboxes and other inflammable items to the hilltop,” said the DFO. Henceforth, tourists will not be allowed to move without the guidance of trackers.
In the absence of trackers, visitors tend to get close to elephants to click photographs. The department has deployed over 30 personnel at different locations in the forest cover to keep eye on visitors. On Monday, senior wildlife officials visited the hilltop to oversee the measures in place ahead of the tourist season.