Magnetic touch to Jumboo Savari route
Mysore Dasara 2018, News

Magnetic touch to Jumboo Savari route

September 16, 2018

Mysuru: One of the highlights of the Mysuru Dasara procession is the march of bejewelled elephants down the Jumboo Savari Route from the Mysore Palace to Bannimantap Torchlight Parade Grounds.

The march is not smooth if extra care is not taken as the road is strewn with several stones, nails, glass, metal pieces and sharp plastic objects. Marching on this road is not easy for the elephants because these sharp objects get embedded into the soles of their feet, causing great pain and even lead to infections.

For this purpose, there is an automated magnetic nail removal machine that is fixed to a vehicle that moves ahead of the elephants. The machine picks up only iron nails and other sharp objects while small stones glass pieces and other sharp items have to be seen by trained eyes and picked up by hand.

While the task of picking non-metal objects from the road is handled by Rangaraju, alias “nail man,” who is doing this task for the last 25 years, the magnetic nail removal device has been developed by Santhosh and Vijay Kumar.

Metal objects that have clung on to the nail removal machine.

The magnetic machine was developed six years back and has been in the use for the last five years. It is a simple but efficient device when it comes to attracting the nails and rusted sharp objects. High-power magnets of all shapes and sizes are fixed to the horizontal iron bar and the iron bar is covered with a polythene sheet. Both the sides of the iron bar are fixed with metal bearing wheels.

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As the device is attached to the vehicle, the wheels start rotating and the magnets pick up the metal objects. “We had designed the device and it was 7 feet earlier but was reduced to 5 feet as the Forest Department felt that 7 feet device will cause traffic problems. The device faced some technical issue the very first year it was introduced six years back. But after that the machine is being continuously used,” said Santhosh.

Only those magnets that are powerful are selected. “Once the magnets are selected, they are either bound to the device with study winding tapes or fixed with nuts and bolts. The side wheels are well-oiled and have to be maintained in running condition. We generally change the magnets every year as old ones tend to lose power,” he said.

Forest Department personnel including ‘Nail Man’ Rangaraju (second from right), removing the nails and other metal objects that are latched on to the nail removal machine.

The magnetic device is so powerful that it collects two to three kgs of metals on the Jumboo Savari route each year during practice sessions and on the grand finale day. These pieces are either buried at a safe place or are handed over to recycling.

“The base of the elephant feet becomes sensitive due to continuous walking on the asphalted roads. Earlier, finding the nails on the road was a big challenge. Now with the magnetic device, it has become easy. Still we have to be vigilant about non-metallic objects strewn on the roads,” said Dr. D.N. Nagaraju, Forest Department Veterinarian.

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