NGT slaps Rs 4-crore penalty on Odisha discom for elephant deaths

Bhubaneswar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has levied Rs 4-crore penalty on Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU) in connection with the death of 7 elephants near Kamalanga village in Dhenkanal in October.

According to sources, the NGT has ordered CESU to deposit the amount with the Forest and Environment Department. The amount will be utilised by the Odisha government to prepare an action plan to protect the jumbos, sources said.

Advocate Shankar Prasad Pani said “The NGT has slapped Rs 4-crore penalty on CESU for non-compliance with its order. If you consider the subject matter of the case, from 2000 to 2018, around 179 elephants have lost their lives in electrocution in Odisha only.”

Earlier on October 26, seven elephants were electrocuted near Kamalanga village in Dhenkanal district. Following the incident, the Forest & Environment and the Energy departments dismissed one official and suspended six others for dereliction of duty. While three officials each from the Forest department & CESU were suspended, the junior manager of CESU Meramundali section was dismissed.