Dhenakanl: At least seven wild elephants, including five female elephants, a tusker and a calf, came into contact with a high tension live wire laid for the construction of railway tracks near Kamalanga village under Sadar range in Dhenkanal district and were instantly electrocuted late on Friday night triggering a widespread resentment among the Wildlife conservationists.
This is the highest casualty of elephants in a single mishap in the State. In December 2012, at least six elephants were knocked down by a speeding express train in Rambha area of Ganjam district. In April this year four elephants, including a tusker and a calf were killed when they were hit by a speeding train in Jharsuguda district.
The unfortunate incident came to light today after the locals found the carcasses of the pachyderms lying in small nullah in the farmland in the locality this morning.
According to sources, a herd of 13 wild elephants had strayed into the region a few days ago in search of food and water.
The accident took place when the elephants were passing through a farmland near Kamalanga when they came in contact with a high tension wire hanging loosely at 8-feet height that was laid for the construction of railway tracks, the sources added.
Forest officials have reached the spot and began investigation into the incident. The railway track was being constructed by a private company, the sources added.
Dhenkanal DFO Sudarsan Panda said that stringent action will be taken against whoever he or the organisation may be responsible for the mishap.
Meanwhile, Forest officials blamed Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU), the power discom in the region, for the shocking deaths of the elephants.
The PCCF said that Dhenkanal DFO had written to CESU last year to rectify the sagging 11 KV lines in the region but no action was taken in this regard.
“Dhenkanal DFO had informed CESU Executive Engineer to rectify sagging transmission line of 11 KV in that area on November 22, 2917, but it was not rectified,” said PCCF and Chief Wildlife Warden in a press release.