Thousands of birds being killed in Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar: WSO

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 2 (UNI) The Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO) has accused the Central Electricity Supply Ltd (CESU) of flouting the safety measures, resulting in the electrocution of thousands of birds in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar every year.

The WSO urged the state chief wildlife warden to prosecute the electricity utility company and book the officials found guilty under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for causing the death of protected species of birds.

WSO general secretary Biswajit Mohanty alleged that the CESU's negligence led to the death of several species of birds, including koels, orioles, mynahs, drongos, kites, barn owls, treepies and cuckoos, protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

He said an estimated 200 birds were being killed every month after they came in contact with the high voltage 11 KV power lines close to the transformers.

The birds were being killed after the company started installing small poles and mounted step down transformers on 11 KV high tension lines to prevent power theft, Mr Mohanty said.

''The lines do not have safety insulation and are close to each other at the input terminal of the transformer. When a bird perches on it, it receives high voltage shock and dies,'' he said.

However, the deaths could be prevented if necessary safety measures and protective devices were installed on the distribution transformers and conductors, he added.

''Though the problem was brought to the notice of the CESU a year back, it did not take any step to insulate the wires,'' Mr Mohanty alleged.

''Endangering birds by any equipment or installation is an offence under the law as the birds help in controlling the pests, safe disposal of organic wastes and maintaining a green cover,'' he said.

UNI BD DPM DB1533

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