With temperatures rising and in the wake of multiple instances of animals venturing into populated areas, the forest department in Gurgaon has started filling up water pits in the Aravalli forest. This, forest department officials said, will prevent animals from venturing out of their habitat in search of water.
Officials said 10 pits in the Aravalli area in Gurgaon and five pits in Faridabad are being filled up weekly. While pits in Gurgaon are being filled with the help of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, “2 or 3” of the Faridabad pits are being filled by forest department officials with the assistance of People for Animals.
“We have one tanker on duty that fills 3-4 pits a day with about 5,000 litres of water. This way, we manage to refill each pit at least once a week,” said M D Sinha, Conservator of Forest (south).
He added, “We are encouraging this process all across the Aravalli forest in other districts as well, but for this, we first need to know how much wildlife is there. Wildlife study and wildlife management are, hence, important to make the plan successful.”
Officials said the process of filling the pits about “two to three-feet deep each”, began almost a fortnight ago. “We started filling up the pits around April 25. Although a lot of work is yet to be done, it must be acknowledged that as a result of this, there is enough water in the forest for the survival of animals,” added Sinha.
There have been multiple instances of wild animals wandering into densely populated areas in Gurgaon in the recent past, with officials as well as environmentalists admitting that this could be due to lack of water in the forest areas.
There have also been four instances wherein leopards have come into conflict with people since November 2016, resulting in injuries to a total of 10 people and the death of one leopard. A leopard, which wandered into Sohna’s Mandawar in November last year, was beaten to death by a mob, in front of forest department officials and police.