Odisha to formulate a new policy to avoid elephant deaths
Bhubaneswar: With elephant deaths taking place at regular intervals, the Odisha government has decided to formulate new policy in order to protect jumbos from electrocution and other accidents, official sources said.
The government has estimated Rs 21 cr to be spent for the new plan.
The decision in this regard was taken during review of Elephant and Tiger Management Policy by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
As a number of elephants die due to electrocution and train mishaps, the government has decided to spend money on repair of sagging live electric wire in elephant passage areas, said Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) J D Sharma.
Both forest department and energy departments have been asked to identify places where electric wires sagging have occurred in elephant corridors. The officials were asked to tighten electric wire and put additional poles, they said adding that Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Bhanjagar have been identified as the places where maximum elephant electrocution cases are reported.
"We will take up electric wire repair work at certain places on priority basis," said a senior official of energy department.
This apart, Sharma said the state government's request the Railway Ministry on speed restriction in elephant passage route may yield result soon. Elephants have died in train mishaps at Huma in Ganjam district.
The state government's proposal before Centre for constituting Special Tiger Protection Force in Satkosia sanctuary was also discussed in the meeting. Issues relating to proper rehabilitation for the people residing in the core areas of Similipal and Satkosia sanctuaries were also discussed, a senior official said.