Bhubaneswar: Expressing “grief and horror” over the recent deaths of seven elephants in a single day in Dhenkanal, Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi today sought Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s personal intervention in carrying out urgent measures to arrest elephant deaths in the State.
In a letter to Patnaik, the Union Minister urged that the Odisha government should take immediate steps to prevent such tragic incidents in future.
The Union Minister cited the mismanagement and incoordination between several departments causing the deaths of the magnificent pachyderms.
Gandhi expressed her concern over the the State’s seriousness about protection of elephants. “It is learned over 435 elephants have died in the State since 2011-17, out of which 124 or a whipping 28 per cent casualties have taken place due to accidents and electrocution,” she wrote.
She said the Centre had formed A K Biswal Committee to prevent the elephants from electrocution and recommended specific guidelines in this regard for implementation.
“However, going by the number of deaths of the elephants in Odisha of which one-third of the deaths have occurred due to electrocution, it is amply clear that the state government has not implemented the recommendation of the committee in letter and spirit,” Maneka pointed out.
She urged the Chief Minister to urgently intervene in the matter and initiate stern action against the officials for violating the recommendation of the Committee.