PCCF Blames Energy Dept For Death Of Seven Elephants

Bhubaneswar: Following the electrocution of seven wild elephants near Kamalanga village in Dhenkanal district late on Friday, the Forest and Environment department on Saturday blamed the Energy department for the incident.
The elephants were electrocuted after coming in contact with a high-tension live wire.

In a release, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Sandip Tripathy said that the unfortunate mishap took place as the Energy department had not taken any step to raise the height of the high-tension wire, which was hanging much below against the guidelines of the Government of India.

Stating that the high-tension transmission line pulled at a lower height was not cabled for insulation, he said that the Dhenkanal DFO had apprised the authorities of the Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) of the matter last year and asked them to take necessary step for cabling of the transmission line. But the latter had not taken any steps till date, he added.

Agreeing to the contention of the PCCF, Forest and Environment minister Bijayshree Routray said investigation is on and necessary action would be taken against the guilty.

In a statement to the media, Energy secretary Hemant Kumar Sharma said a three-member team of the Energy department, including Electrical Inspector, is probing the incident. On the basis of the report, appropriate action would be taken, he added.

Stating that the coordination meetings between the Forest and Environment department and the Energy department are being held on a regular basis, he said that a temporary feeder was provided to the Railway authorities for construction of an over-bridge in the area where the mishap took place.

Meanwhile, a blame game has ensued between the authorities of the Dhenkanal Electrical Division and the Angul-Talcher Electrical Division on the jurisdiction of the area where the mishap took place.

While the executive engineer of the Dhenkanal Electrical Division claimed that the area where the mishap took place came under the jurisdiction of the Angul-Talcher Electrical Division, the latter maintained that it was not the case.

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