Lakhimpur Kheri: The solar fencing work in the Dudhwa buffer zone (DBZ) along the Dudhwa National Park (DNP) is nearing completion.
This is designed to keep away wild animals from entering into human habitations and damaging agricultural crops — the primary reason behind the human-animal conflicts in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh’s Kheri district.
The work, covering length of 20 km in Palia, Majhgain and Bhira ranges of the DBZ, is in full swing and is likely to be completed in the coming months, said Saurish Sahai, deputy director, DBZ.
Lalit Verma, field director, DTR said the move would help check human-animal conflicts in the buffer zone as the solar fencing would deter the wild animals particularly elephants, tigers, leopards from crossing the fence.
In recent past, Dudhwa buffer zone has witnessed many human-animal conflicts that have led to loss of lives of humans and wild animals.
Growth in population of big cats and other wild animals has increased apprehensions of rise in human-animal conflicts, officials said.
Free movement of wild elephants from neighbouring Nepal into Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Dudhwa buffer zone, their adjoining areas and their prolonged stay here has added to worries and concerns of local farmers as herds of wild animals damage their standing crops and properties.
The Terai region comprises Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR), DNP and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
During his visit to PTR in October, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered solar fencing in sensitive areas along the PTR, DBZ and Manjhra range of Katarniaghat.
Soon after, budget was allocated for solar fencing.
According to Sahai,the solar fencing through its non-lethal electric shock would discourage the wild animals particularly wild elephants and the big cats to trespass the fencing and thus help prevent human-animal conflicts.
He further said that chain-link fencing has been proposed in around 10 kilometre radius of Manjhra and north Nighasan ranges of buffer zone, to keep away wild animals from human settlements.
The Manjhra range forests share their boundaries with Katarniaghat sanctuary.
Also, Manjhra range has witnessed several human casualties in attacks by big cats in recent months.