BERHAMPUR: To prevent elephant deaths through electrocution, forest staff and employees of Southco, the power distribution company, will conduct joint patrolling in the Berhampur forest circle.
Official sources said the team will immediately rectify any fault or threat. Electricity poles will be shifted and sagging power lines raised if need be. The Southco has been asked to cut power supplya to elephant corridors when intimated by the forest officers.
These measures were discussed at a meeting between the superintendent engineers of the Southco and divisional forest officers of the circle, comprising five revenue districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh and Rayagada, here on Thursday.
Railway officials of Khurda division held a separate meeting with forest officers on steps to be taken to prevent accidents involving elephants on the tracks.
Regional chief conservator of forest Jitendra Kumar presided over both the meetings. “We have asked the railway officials to clear the bushes near railway tracks passing through elephant corridors to allow drivers spot the animals clearly. They were also asked to put up sign boards warning the drivers about vulnerable areas,” said Kumar.
The 5-km stretch from Humma to Chilika was identified as vulnerable. The forest department went for solar fencing to check the movement of elephants in the area. The forest guards too have been provided VHP sets to inform the nearest railway station or the station master of Khurda Road division about movement of elephants on the tracks, he said.
These measures were taken after a speeding train mowed down six elephants at Subalaya in Ganjam district in 2012. Five pachyderms were electrocuted the same year, the sources added.