Hassan: Man-elephant conflict has become so common in Alur, Sakleshpur and Yeslur in Hassan district that forest officials in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), an NGO, have begun giving automated bulk voice alerts to registered phone numbers to keep people posted on the movement of jumbos in the region.
While SMS alerts are being given since September last year, the automated bulk voice alerts began in January. Research affiliate Vinod Krishnan of NCF, reveals that the service is being provided to about 2,000 registered phone numbers.
“They are free to opt either only for SMS alerts or automated voice calls or both. But automated voice calls are more effective than SMS alerts because many of the workers in coffee plantations are from the north east of the country and are not able to read the text messages in Kannada With automated voice calls, people are alerted by a ring and hear the message,” he explains.
The concept is working well with the people having accepted the idea of the early warning system and finding the information provided on elephant movement reliable, according to him.
Mr Bharat, a resident of Honkaravalli village, known for regular crossing of elephants, says automated voice calls have been effective and allow people to take precautions like an alternate route to reach their destinations and avoid certain routes where elephants are sighted. In addition to the early warning system, forest officials have put in place Rapid Response Teams to drive straying elephants back into the jungles.