GUWAHATI: In a bid to address the human-elephant conflict (HEC) in Assam’s Udalguri district, a 7-kilometer-long solar-powered electric fence was successfully deployed in No.3 Kundarbil village recently.
Led by biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak in partnership with the Forest Department, the community-managed fence is designed to safeguard the lives, properties, and livelihoods of around 170 families, while also securing approximately 500 bighas of cropland.
The solar-powered electric fence, a proven tool for mitigating HEC, was officially handed over to the community in a spirited inauguration ceremony on December 28.
Patrosh Daimary, the Chairman of the Village Council Development Committee (VCDC) in Kundarbil, inaugurated the fence at the Rupa LP School grounds, in the presence of around 100 villagers.
Expressing gratitude, he acknowledged the collaborative efforts of Aaranyak and the Forest Department in addressing HEC and ensuring the well-being of the community.
The installation of the single-strand fence was led by Aaranyak’s solar fence expert, Anjan Baruah, with support from the organisation’s dedicated team, alongside local villagers.
During the inauguration, Baruah engaged with the villagers, providing detailed insights on fence maintenance to ensure longevity and foster human-elephant coexistence.
Before the fence was handed over to the community, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the solar fence committee, Forest Department, and Aaranyak.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by a Forest Department team led by Bir Bahadur Mogor, VDP Secretaries Tanka Bahadur Sonar and Dhan Kumar Ray, and social worker Sanjay Daimary.
The installation was made possible through funding from the SBI Foundation, as part of a project dedicated to mitigating HEC in the region.
This community-driven solar fence is expected to serve as a protective barrier against HEC and reflects the power of collaboration and innovation in addressing environmental challenges at the grassroots level.