Sambalpur: Odisha government has suspended a forest official for negligence in protection of elephants during his tenure that resulted in number of jumbo deaths in the district.
"On February 6, the PCCF has initiated departmental proceedings against Sadar forest ranger Gouri Shankar Dash. Based on the reports of elephants’ deaths in the previous years, the government has suspended him from the services," Sambalpur DFO Sanjeet Kumar said.
As many as six elephants had died between January, 2019 and January 2021, he added.
Following the death of number elephants, the then Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Harishankar Upadhyay had recommended the government to take disciplinary action against the range officer. Upadhyay had observed that the range officer had failed to conduct appropriate patrolling that resulted in the death of number of elephants over the years.
He cited that absence of patrolling is the key reason behind the deaths of elephants by train accidents and electrocution.
On December 21, 2020, a 12-year-old elephant was run over by a speeding train near Hatibari station in Sambalpur forest division.
Similarly, on December 6, 2020, an elephant was killed after being hit by Bhubaneswar-Rourkela Intercity Express near Gargadbahal village between Jujumura and Hatibari in the district.
A female elephant had died after coming in contact with live wire in a farm land near Kansar in Sambalpur division in January this year.