Close on the heels of spurt in deaths of elephants due to electrocution, State Energy department has threatened to file criminal cases against top executives of power distribution companies including their Chief Executive Officers and Managing Directors.

In a letter to four power distribution companies (discoms) active in the State, the energy department said if electrocution death of elephants, other animals and human beings occurred due to negligence of safety measures the matter would be viewed very seriously.

“Unless discom’s performance in reducing electrical accidents in next to two three months is noticed, the concerned electrical inspectors along with filing regular inquiry reports and advisories, shall file criminal cases against concerned officials of discom include MD and CEO,” the department warned.

It further directed the discoms to furnish necessary information and estimated cost for safety measures required for elephant corridors and non-elephant corridors to avoid electrical accidents.

Besides, the department asked district electrical inspector to lodge criminal cases against the distribution companies where electrocution death occurred due to negligence in taking safety measures. During past one week, at least six elephants have died, five of them due to electrocution.

It is to be noted that since 2001, at least 116 elephants died coming in contacts with live electric wire. While 46 of these deaths were said to be deliberate ones, 70 died accidentally – primarily due to non-maintenance of electric wire.

In last eleven years, as many as 37 electrocution deaths have been reported in WESCO area and 20 in SOUTHCO. In CESU jurisdiction, 25 deaths have been recorded and whereas NESCO has reported 34.

Although Forest and Environment department issues guidelines regarding maintenance of power distribution lines in areas frequented by elephants, distribution companies attach little importance.

Sources in discoms said financial implication for making distribution lines safe for elephant movements would be huge and the issue of fund generation for the purpose had not been resolved.

  • During the past one week at least five elephants have been electrocuted

  • Since 2001, at least 116 elephants died coming in contact with live electric wires