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Awareness drive on pesticide effect

Berhampur (Orissa): With pesticide-laced flowers in cotton fields claiming the lives of 13 peacocks, authorities have decided to launch an awareness drive on the harmful effects of using poisonous pesticides in Pakidi hill area of Orissa`s Ganjam district.

Pakidi hill, spread over 1970 hectare, is considered as the largest habitat of peacocks in the country.

District Collector Krishan Kumar said, "I have instructed officials of the agriculture and forest departments to chalk out a plan to create awareness among the people of the area asking them not to use pesticides that harm peacocks. "

The Collector also asked the officials to involve the Peacock Protection Committee in the job.

A decorated chariot taken out during Wildlife Week was also moving in the area for spreading awareness on the issue, divisional forest officers Ghumusar (North) R C Sethi said.

"We have asked the farmers to use bio-fertiliser in crops to protect peacocks in the area," Peacock Protection Committee president Samir Pradhan said.

The committee has also decided to install sign boards in human habitations where peacocks roam freely, he said.

At least 13 peacocks have died near Kerikerijhola and Ambuabadi villages near Pakidi hill since October 2 after consuming cotton flowers laced with poisonous pesticide.

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