Odishatv Bureau

All elephant corridors will be identified in Odisha and people living near them will be sensitised on the protection of the pachyderms, the joint task force (JTF) told the Orissa High Court on Tuesday.

The JTF constituted to prevent unnatural deaths of elephants in the State filed an affidavit in the court about its plan to curb poaching of jumbos. 

The JTF informed that the comprehensive action plan will be fully implemented by December this year. 

The task force will submit a report on execution of its plan before the high court by January 18, 2023. 

The task force further informed about its action plan and said that efforts will be made to prevent deaths of elephant due to electrocution and train accident. A discussion is underway with the power distribution companies in this regard. 

Similarly, discussion will be held with railway authorities to make necessary arrangements in elephant corridors to prevent deaths of the animals. 

During the hearing, the HC suggested inclusion of animal activist Suvendu Mallick and environmentalist Biswajit Mohanty. The court also asked the concerned authorities to inform about the progress of the implementation of the action plan. 

The court expressed concern over poaching of jumbos and directed JTF member and additional SP for speedy trial of all cases filed over poaching of elephants. 

During the hearing, all members of the JTF were present via video conferencing. The next hearing has been scheduled on January 18, 2023. 

Counsel of the petitioner, Asish Mishra said, “The court has directed the JTF to furnish details about its action plan to prevent poaching of elephants by January next year. The PCCF told the court that report related to mapping of elephant corridor will be submitted on January 18. The PCCF also informed the court about the plan to prevent death of elephant on railway tracks.”

Reported by Gautam Panda, OTV