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Power firm to fix drooping cables, save Odisha jumbos

 

PIONEER
21 May 2012

After the death of nearly 100 wild elephants due to electrocution in Odisha within a decade, a solution may be in sight to save the National Heritage animal.

After a meeting  with senior representatives from the Environment Ministry, State Government and NGOs, Reliance Infrastructure, which own a 51 per cent in three of the four power distribution companies in the State, has committed to attend to the sagging power lines in elephant habitats along with taking other necessary steps to protect the tuskers.

The parties also agreed to reconvene in six months to discuss and develop the plan of action.

The meeting was hosted by the UK charity Elephant Family that has been supporting initiatives to redress the situation through its partner organisation, the Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO) and the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).

According to Biswajit Mohanty, secretary, WSO, member organisation of National Board for Wildlife, the meeting pointed to the urgent need to overhaul large parts of the distribution network, including pulling up sagging overhead power lines, installing circuit breakers, and placing barbed wires around electricity poles.

“There is also a need for the distribution companies to comply with mandatory regulations for the installation, maintenance, and inspection of power lines set by the Central Electricity Authority of India”, pointed out Belinda Wright from WPSI.



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