Rashmi Ranjan

In a bid to curb the repeated occurrence of elephant deaths due to electrocution in the State, the Odisha government on Saturday released over Rs 445 crore to the power distribution companies to address the issue. 

Sources said the State Energy Department has released a fund of Rs 445.75 crore to the power distribution companies to increase the ground clearance of the electrical transmission networks (33 kV, 11 kV, LT) and replace bare conductors in elephant corridors and movement areas. 

So far about 79000 interposing poles have been erected and more than 2300 circuit km of bare conductors have been replaced by covered ones, the Energy department informed in a tweet.

Moreover, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra during a review meeting today also asked the DISCOMs and Forest Department officials to conduct regular interactions to achieve zero casualty of elephants due to electrocution.

Mahapatra also asked the officials to involve the local community in the drive and come up with a scheme to reward the villagers who give information about illegal hooking for poaching wild animals.

He also directed the DISCOM and Forest officials to be extremely vigilant during the ensuing harvest season and undertake regular joint patrolling to prevent illegal hooking in elephant corridors and movement areas.