State Forest dept starts campaign to curb jumbo deaths due to electrocution
Kolkata: Concerned over the recent trend of elephant deaths through electrocution in different forests of North Bengal, the state Forest department on Sunday started anti-electrocution campaign at strategic locations to curb such deaths.
"The campaign has been undertaken in the villages and tea gardens around the elephant corridors and in sensitive villages and tea gardens around Buxa Tiger Reserve, Jaldapara National Park, Gorumara National Park, Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary , Bagdogra and Naxalbari areas. We have identified certain villages and teagardens where jumbo deaths have happened and have given priority in these places," said Vinod Kumar Yadav, state Chief Wildlife Warden.
The state Forest department is using its own vehicles 'Airavat' for the campaign. 5 of these vehicles will travel in different parts in and around the forests of North Bengal to sensitise people about the importance of conserving wildlife. They will be asked to inform the Forest department or the power department if they notice electric wires situated at lesser height, wires dangling precariously here and there and electric poles not properly rooted to the ground, or similar issues related to infrastructural problem related to power.
State Forest minister Rajib Banerjee during his recent visit to North Bengal held meeting with officials of state Power department and issued advisory to all concerned.
According to sources in the Forest department more than 17 jumbo deaths have been recorded since January out of which seven deaths have been attributed to electrocution. There has been deliberate
electrocution in at least three to four cases mostly in North Bengal.
"This electrocution of elephant is a new trend and so we discussed the matter with Additional Chief Secretary of Power department Suresh Kumar who has already issued instructions to his officers to take strong action against offenders," said a senior official of the Forest department.