NGT forms team to probe death of 7 elephants in Odisha

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a team to enquire into the death of seven elephants which were electrocuted after coming in contact with a live wire near Kamalanga village in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted a team comprising representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun, director of Project Elephant and chief wildlife warden in Odisha.

The team will visit the site and suggest measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future, due to electrocution or other causes which can be applicable to wildlife areas in the entire country, the NGT said.

“The representative of Ministry of Environment, Forests will be the coordinator. The visit may be undertaken within two weeks from today” the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi, said in its October 30 order.

The green panel directed the Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU) to deposit Rs 1 crore with the chief wildlife warden of the state within a week and asked it to submit its stand in the case to the MoEF.

The tribunal said the incident “prima facie” shows apathy to the wildlife by CESU as 42 elephants have died of electrocution due to sagging live wires and at least 18 were killed in Dhenkanal division since April 2010 as per a news report, titled “Hanging live wire kills 7 jumbos in Odisha”.

It appointed advocate Amit A Pai to assist the tribunal in the matter and posted the matter for consideration of the report on December 20.

The tribunal passed the order after taking note of the news report.

The article said that according to the Forest Department, electrocution occurred on account of negligence of CESU.

Seven elephants were electrocuted after coming in contact with a live wire near Kamalanga village on October 27.

A herd of 13 jumbos was passing through the village in Sadar Forest Range and seven of them came in contact with an 11-KV line.

The carcasses of seven pachyderms, including a tusker and five females, were spotted in the morning by villagers who informed forest officials.

While three carcasses were lying on a road, four others were inside a canal.

The incident happened apparently because of sagging electric wire, the forest officials said.

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