BHUBANESWAR: The Energy Department on Friday asked Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) to shut down power in the elephant corridors and forest areas across State during movement of jumbos or any other wildlife. The direction came a day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked the Department to take adequate measures by November end to curb electrocution deaths of elephants and other wildlife in the forest areas.
“The death of elephants due to electrocution in recent times has been a matter of serious concern. In this regard it is requested you to disconnect power supply in elephant corridors as well as movement areas on getting credible information from the forest department or any reliable sources regarding movement of elephants/ wildlife in the said areas,” Special Secretary, Energy department, Surajit Das wrote in a letter to CESU authorities.
Power supply can be restored after ascertaining safe exit of wildlife from the area, he stated. The officer also warned CESU that instruction needs to be followed meticulously and any deviation will be dealt with seriously. The move of the State Government has come after seven elephants were electrocuted at Kamalanga village under Sadar forest range in Dhenkanal district on October 26. At least seven Forest and CESU staff have been suspended over the issue.
Death of two elephants due to electrocution has also reported from Angul and Mayurbhanj this month. Expressing concern over the matter, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday had also asked Energy Department to rectify the sagging power lines by December end. He had also directed the department to ensure cabling of the electric wires and rectify the sagging wires identified by the Forest and Environment department by November end. According to officials of Forest Department they have identified 6,000 points in various forest divisions and furnished the list to Energy Department where corrective measures are required at the earliest to protect wildlife from electrocution deaths.