Coimbatore

Forest Dept. inspects height of power lines in Gudalur division following electrocution of elephant

Forest staff from Gudalur Forest Division inspecting the power lines passing through elephant habitats.

Forest staff from Gudalur Forest Division inspecting the power lines passing through elephant habitats. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Following the death of a 35-year-old female elephant due to electrocution by an overhead power line in Gudalur a few days ago, the Forest Department is conducting inspections to ensure that cables are at a safe height from the ground to prevent such incidents.

According to District Forest Officer (Gudalur division), Kommu Omkaram, regular patrolling was useful in minimising the chance of electricity lines sagging. “However, they need to be done regularly as the division witnesses heavy winds, which leads to the lines invariably hanging closer to the ground every few weeks,” said Mr. Omkaram. The DFO said a permanent solution to the problem of accidental electrocution of wildlife from power lines maintained by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) was to replace the existing power lines with ‘aerial bunch cables’ that were safer.

Tangedco officials said while these cables ensured less power loss and were easy to maintain too, they were far more expensive to install than regular power cables. Forest officials working in the division said in most areas, power cables were between 14-16 feet in height, making them easily accessible for elephants.

“There is a National Green Tribunal order directing the Tangedco to use aerial bunch cables that are used in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary and Bandipur Tiger Reserve. We will continue to push for the existing lines to be replaced with these cables,” added Mr. Omkaram. The death of the elephant a few days ago was the fifth such incident recorded in Gudalur division and the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in recent years.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 11:48:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/forest-dept-inspects-height-of-power-lines-in-gudalur-division-following-electrocution-of-elephant/article65453271.ece