Bhubaneswar, Oct 7:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday called for prompt investigation of all incidents of deliberate electrocution to kill wild animals and stern action against the perpetrators of such crime. He was addressing the 59th Wildlife Week celebrations here.
Expressing serious concern over the electrocution, both accidental and deliberate, of animals in general and elephants in particular, the Chief Minister called for all possible measures to prevent accidental electrocution.
“Despite the increased awareness on wildlife conservation, tragic incidents of human-animal conflicts continue to take place. This is a matter of serious concern,” he said.
Patnaik, however, said that the Forest department had prepared a set of guidelines in the form of ‘standard operational procedure’ to deal with such eventualities. Frontline field staffs should be duly trained and procedures strictly followed in coordination with district administrations to mitigate sufferings of the people as well as wild animals.
Stating that fragmentation of forest remains another major issue, the chief minister said it needs to be addressed and large patches of forest connected through corridors have to be rehabilitated. “The state government has initiated a project for strengthening of 14 elephant corridors since the year 2014 from our own resources. This project would surely go a long way in reducing the man-animal conflict, particularly elephants in the state,” claimed the chief minister.
Expressing concern over the death of wild animals by running trains, he said the Forest department had signed a MoU with Wildlife Trust of India for execution of a plan to mitigate elephant mortality due to train hits.