Tusker Electrocuted in Keonjhar

Keonjhar : Forest department found the carcass of a 12 years old tusker, who died after came in contact with 11 kv wire on Sunday early morning in Basantpur village under Champua range in odisha’s Keonjhar district. According to the sources the incident took place when the elephant was going near the electric pole. Due to a broken insulator the 11 kv wire came in contact with the stay of the electric pole.

When the elephant came in contact with charged stay the elephant died on the spot. severe burn injury and died on the spot, sources added. After the incident tension mounted among the local inhabitants. The local people blamed both departments and alleged that due to lack of coordination between the forest and electricity department the innocent elephant lost its life.

As the area is forest surrounded hence if proper coordination will not be maintained between them, and infrastructure of electric supply could not develop then many elephants will die in the future. After the incident Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) Rourkela along with Divisional Forest Officer, Keonjhar Dhanraj H.D. along with champua range officer Akshay Chhatria and other officials rushed to the spot to inspect the cause of death. Similarly Superintendent of Engineering Tata Power Narayan Das along with other officials went to the spot to see the situation and review the cause of the accident. Later the body of the elephant was buried in the ground before uprooting the tusks.

Forest department officials blame the electric department for this incident. “Due to a weak pole and poor infrastructure this incident took place. If the pole was repaired earlier then the accident could be avoid” said Dhanraj H.D. DFO, Keonjhar to TOI. “They instead of repairing the fault earlier and developing the infrastructure unnecessarily blaming us by saying that they were not informed.

Actually the elephant went to another area and suddenly returned to this area” the DFO added. There is another herd consisting of six elephants with three calves moving in that locality. On the other hand, the electrical department blamed the forest department for this death, as the department could not follow the government guideline.

“There is provision that the forest department regularly provide information about the movement of the elephant. Accordingly we took precaution by disconnecting the electricity supply to avoid an accident. But in this case the department could not give us information on Saturday about the movement of the elephant. If they have given then we could disconnect lines in that area and accidents could avoid” said Narayan Das SE, Tata Power, Keonjhar to TOI. “They have informed us on Friday, we had taken precaution” SE added.

Sources said that in August 2022, two elephants electrocuted in the campus of OUAT, Keonjhar under Sadar range. Despite several electrocution death incidents happening and co-ordination meetings organised in between Forest, energy and other departments, the death of the tusker has exposed the carelessness on protection of wild elephants in Keonjhar district.

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