Ponds dug up by foresters in Khanapur are quenching thirst of animals in tough times
Successive droughts might have plunged the district into distress, but the foresightedness of the Belagavi forest department could see animals roaming in the various forest ranges spread across Khanapur taluk being spread the travails of acute water scarcity
In a bid prevent wild animals from straying into human habitats for water, the forest department started to put in place a series of water conservation measure in 2015, when the district recorded 70% below normal rainfall. Multiple cases of deer and elephants venturing into human habitats were reported in 2015, and the department decided to make efforts to club the problem. Ponds were dug up across the forest to collect water. Two years hence, the efforts of the department are bearing fruit- these ponds are now quenching the thirst of the animals.
These measures were put in place in the Golihalli, Nag argali, Londa, Khanapur and Kanakumbi ranges, besides the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary. ‘Most of our efforts were concentrated on Bhimgad, wich boasts large numbers of bison, cheetah and gaurs,”
Basavaraj Patil, deputy conservator of forests, besides digging up ponds, the department also constructed check Dams and Nala bands to collect water. Water tankers in the ponds Most of the funds for the conservation programme in the forest were given by the state government, while the central government too had made a contribution.
Patil was delighted to see the animal’s drinking water from the ponds. Pointing out that they were monitoring the numbers of animal’s drinking water from the dams and ponds he added, “We’ve in stalled sensor cameras near the ponds and check dams to see what animals, and how, many of them, are drawing water.”Water conservation efforts in the forests would continue for two more years.