December 20, 2021 12:34:07 pm
Between 2009 and 2019, 600 elephants have died due to electrocution across the country, data given by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has revealed. Of this, 116 deaths have taken place in Karnataka, 117 in Odisha and 105 in Assam.
Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Maharashtra are the only states which recorded zero such deaths, the data showed.
A senior official from the Karnataka Forest Department told The Indian Express that there have been unnatural elephant deaths in Karnataka in the last few years. “The numbers have come down but annually, we come across 5-6 cases of deaths of jumbos due to electrocution. In Kodagu, four jumbos died in July this year. While in October 2020, two male elephants died inside the Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru, four died in other parts of the state in September last year. These numbers are quite high. The elephants come in contact with electric fence lines which are put up by private landowners. We do register cases against them as most of these are illegally set up. The exact figure of the deaths of the jumbos owing to electrocution in the last two years will be collated,” he said.
Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, B K Singh, said that in almost 75 per cent of the cases, those responsible for the electrocution are never arrested. “I do not remember any case in the last one decade where anyone has been prosecuted for the electrocution of an elephant,” he added.
Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, informed that financial and technical assistance is provided to elephant range states and union territories under the centrally sponsored scheme ‘Project Elephant’ to protect the jumbos, their habitat and corridors, to address issues of man-elephant conflict and the welfare of captive pachyderms.
“The scheme has also a component for ex-gratia relief in case of human death/injury and damage to property and crop loss. The Ministry had constituted a task force for suggesting eco-friendly measures to mitigate impacts of power transmission lines and other infrastructure on elephants and other wildlife. The states, UTs and power-transmission agencies have been requested to take the necessary steps for compliance of rules and regulations and to maintain minimum ground clearance while laying transmission lines for minimizing death of elephants due to electrocution,” he said in a response to a question raised by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.