To prevent marauding wild and stray animals from destroying crops and entering human habitation, the state forest department will undertake a pilot project to install solar fencing in the Bet area.
Barapur in Garhshankar division will be the first village in the state to have solar fencing and if successful, other villages of the Kandi and Bet too would be protected by the same technique. Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna gave a cheque of Rs 25 lakh from his discretionary fund to state forest minister Surjit Kumar Jiani on Sunday to start this work.
"People living in the foothills have limited resources. Whatever they grow is eaten away by the stray cattle. Fencing is the only option to keep the intruders at bay. Since solar fencing is a much better option than the conventional one, we have decided to experiment with it", said Khanna.
"Solar fencing is powered by batteries that are charged through solar panels. During contact, it gives a big shock but is not fatal to animals or human habitation. The technique is very popular in southern states but in Punjab it is being introduced in this area for the first time" he added. He added that in first phase, about 9.5 km stretch would be fenced.
Thanking Khanna for his initiative, Jiani said that work would start soon. He hoped that fencing would come as a big relief to the farmers.