4 October 2021
Odisha government has allocated Rs 445.75 crore to the distribution companies in order to increase ground clearance of electrical networks with the objective of preventing Elephant electrocution.
- With the help of allocated funds, distribution companies would also replace bare conductors across elephant corridors and movement areas.
- This initiative is aimed at preventing elephant deaths because of electrocution.
- As per Energy department, 79000 interposing poles have been erected and about 2,300 circuit bare conductors have been replaced by covered ones.
- In the recent development, companies and Forest Department have been asked to interact on regular basis in a bid to achieve zero casualty of elephants.
- Officials have also been directed to involve with the local community in elephant protection and bring in scheme for rewarding the villagers, who would provide information regarding illegal hooking for poaching wild animals.
Elephant conservation in state
- As per the Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO), an environment pressure group working on elephant conservation, about 862 elephants have lost their lives in between April 2010 August 2021.
- Out of this, about 16 % accounting for 135 elephants died due to electrocution.
Concerns associated with elephant conservation
- Elephant conservation in the state of Odisha is a challenging task because of inadequate patrolling and breakdown of supervision & monitoring by officers.
- This has made it easy for poachers to wipe out elephants from the state.
- Lack of action against electricity distribution companies has resulted into multiple electrocution cases because of overhead sagging naked wires, wild boar poaching wires and electrified fences.
- These elephants would have been saved if companies had installed safety devices.
- Most recent case “killing of seven elephants in Dhenkanal district” in the year 2018 at Kamalanga because of a low height 11 KV wire.