RAIPUR: Electrocution, becoming a increasingly common cause in the killing of tuskers in Chhattisgarh.
Three pachyderms died after coming in contact with live wire in last six days in the state. And during the past four months, electrocution was the reason of death for the seven out of the 13 elephants that died.
Ironically, the deaths of elephant owing to electrocution continue to occur despite the Chhattisgarh high court directive in 2019 to the officials of concerned departments (forest and energy) besides the experts to ensure "no such incidents should happen in future."
“Significant number of elephants have died after coming in contact with the transmission or open lines via illegal electrical fencing,” the court had then observed and asked the officials and experts to put their heads together to ensure no more such instances of death should occur.
“On a public interest litigation over the rising elephant deaths due to electrocution, the high court had in its observation given instruction to the officials and others.
But there is scant regard to the court’s observation as the death toll of jumbos has risen to seven in merely four months. Chhattisgarh state power distribution company limited (CSPDCL) is yet to address the rampant illegal power connections causing the deaths of elephant,” said the wildlife enthusiast and the petitioner Nitin Singhvi, who further added that in many instances even the forest officials are not aware on what actions were been taken against those found guilty over elephants dying of electrocution.
In just one forest division of Dharamjaigarh in Raigarh district, the officials of forest department had earlier shared with the CSPDCL of over 3500 illegal power connections but no effective action is said to be initiated to intercept such unauthorised practices.
The elephant deaths in the state had also occurred by electrocution due to the low-slung High Tension (HT) cables owned by the CSPDCL.
The senior forest officials told that they will raise the issue of illegal connections with the Chairman of the power distribution company to work out a lasting solution for areas ventured frequently by the tuskers.
Chhattisgarh is among those states which accounts for high elephant deaths owing to electrocution, where fifty-two such casualties out of the 126 tuskers killed during the last 16 years in the state.