Representational Image.

(IANS)

The Tamil Nadu government has allocated ₹7.2 crores to mitigate man-animal conflict in the seven forest ranges under the Coimbatore forest division.

Artificial Intelligence-based E-surveillance cameras would be installed on a pilot basis in the Madukkarai forest range under the Coimbatore forest division. This area is vulnerable to man-animal conflict with wild elephants frequenting the village areas bordering forest lands.

On November 26, 2021, three wild elephants were killed after being hit by a Mangalore-Chennai Express train in the Madukkarai forest range. This led to a major confrontation between the Tamil Nadu forest department and the Southern Railways. The incident triggered the forest department to install AI-based E-cameras.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu Forest Department told IANS that based on the success of AI-based e-cameras, the project will be implemented in more forest regions.

The forest department officials conducted inspections across railway tracks A and B in Solakkarai and Ettumadi areas in the Madukkarai forest range. S.A Ramasubramaniam, Conservator of Forests and field director of Annamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) led the inspection carried out by the forest department officials on Wednesday.

The forest department is planning to install at least two cameras for every kilometre and also an AI-based e-surveillance camera in a span of three kilometres. Sources in the department told IANS that these cameras would immediately share data of wild elephants moving to railway tracks to the field-level staff who can drive them away from being hit by the moving trains.

When there are wild elephants present, messages will be transmitted to the loco pilots via the station master, so that the trains can slow down in time.

Forest department officials also told IANS that after a month of trial in the Madukkarai forest range the service of the AI-based e- cameras would be used in the remaining forest ranges of Coimbatore.

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The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.

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