The State government has drawn up a plan to prevent elephants from being electrocuted by sagging live electric wire in the forested regions frequented by big mammals.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Thursday decided to earmark Rs. 21 crore for strengthening electric transmission infrastructure.

“In elephant corridors, distance between two electric poles would be shortened to ensure that electric wire is not drooped.

Electric poles would be barbed to dissuade elephants from hitting the structures. The bare conductors will be cabled,” said Chief Minister’s Office here on Thursday.

During past one decade, more than 120 elephants died after coming in contact with the live electric wire.

Mr. Patnaik had requested Union Environment and Forest to sanction Rs. 32 crore from Compensatory Afforestation Managing and Planning Authority (CAMPA) in order to strengthen transmission lines to prevent death of elephants due to electrocution.

Chief Minister on Thursday reviewed electrification programmes such as Biju Gram Jyoti Yojna, Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyuti Karan Yojna and Biju Urban Electrification Programme. He expressed concerns over tardy progress in the electrification programmes.

The meeting resolved to use solar power in remote and hilly regions as electrification could not be possible.

The State government had set a target to set up 550 33X11 KV power sub stations for strengthening power infrastructure.

The State government would spend Rs. 2,000 crore from its own source.

Upon completion of the project, the problem of low voltage in rural pockets would be addressed in an effective way. The sub-stations existing on campus of schools and anganwadi centres would be shifted to safer places.