Elephant electocution: WEPG blames EB

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Shillong, Nov 22: The Wildlife and Environment Protection Group (WEPG) today blamed the Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB) for the electrocution of four more wild elephants.

The WPEG said they would soon lodge a complaint with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests about the 'gross violations' of MeSEB while laying electric wires through sanctuaries and wildlife parks in the state.

At least 10 Asiatic elephants were electrocuted in Meghalaya over the past one month.

''The animals were killed mainly due to lackadaisical attitude of the MeSEB officials, while laying high-tension wires,'' WPEG activist Sajay Laloo told to the sources here. ''They (MeSEB) should have enveloped the electric wires. The guidelines for electric wires passing through sanctuaries and wildlife parks are quite clear,'' Mr Laloo said.

In fact, the four pachyderms were electrocuted on November 19 at Paham Umdoh in Ri-Bhoi district due to sagging electric wires, which were just five feet above the ground.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests VK Nautiyal admitted that the jumbos died due to lack of co-ordination between the forest department and the state electricity board.

''In the past, we had written to MeSEB to realign the electricity network in the area to ensure that wild elephants do not come in contact with them,'' Mr Nautiyal said.

Earlier, state legislators had raised the issue in the Assembly.


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