Thannithode: Wild animals would now hesitate before entering the plantations. Carbide guns, meant to scare away the animals, are turning out to be a saviour for the plantations. The carbide guns are now being used at the Plantation Corporation’s Thannithode estate in the Pathanamthitta district.
These guns can be made easily at low cost. The gun is made using various sizes of PVC pipes that are joined together. It is fitted with a valve at the lower end and has a gas lighter in the big pipe at the centre. Carbide, used for gas-welding jobs, is used to create the loud bang.
The valve at the lower end is opened and around 10gm of carbide is dropped in. After sprinkling 5-6 drops of water, the valve is closed. When the lighter is lit two minutes later, a loud sound is created.
Earlier, crackers were burst to chase away the animals. But that is a more costly option. Even after bursting the crackers several times, the animals might not leave. Former estate manger Ranjith Raj had brought in the carbide gun from the Athirappilly estate around a year ago. Though the pump operator, Rajesh B Nair, tried to make a similar gun, it failed to chase away the animals.
The next estate manager urged Rajesh to continue his work and he came up with six new carbide guns. The watchmen of the Parakulam division at Thannithode estate have been trained to use the gun.