Tamil Nadu

Tangedco told to pay ₹75 lakh over electrocution of animals

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Tangedco to pay a compensation of ₹75 lakh to the Forest Department over an electrocution incident in February 2020 in which an elephant, four boars and other animals and reptiles died. The compensation is to be paid to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Tamil Nadu, within three months.

The NGT directed the PCCF and the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) to utilise the amount for implementing measures to avoid human-animal conflict, including the electrocution of wild animals on coming into contact with power lines in or near the forest area, where wild animal passage is anticipated.

The Tribunal, which had taken suo motu cognisance of a media report about the electrocution incident in the Chungam Forest Division in the Cherambadi forest area at Pandalur in the Nilgiris district, in which a male wild elephant, four wild boars, a common mongoose, a striped necked mongoose, three cobras and a crow were killed, said it held Tangedco responsible for their deaths, applying the principles of “strict liability” and r es ipsa loquitur .

If the amount was not deposited by Tangedco within three months, the PCCF and the CWW were entitled to execute the award by approaching the District Collector to recover the amount under the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890 or under Section 25 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.

The NGT’s Southern Bench also directed that a joint task force, comprising officials of the Forest, Revenue and Development Departments, the local body and Tangedco, be constituted for conducting periodic inspections to determine whether any further repair or maintenance work was required to avoid such incidents.

It also directed the authorities to adopt the guidelines framed by the National Board for Wildlife in July 2019, and set up electricity infrastructure to ensure minimal disturbance to wildlife in protected areas and those bordering the forests. The Tribunal also directed the State government to appoint a permanent advisory committee, comprising the Secretary of Environment and Forests, the PCCF, the CWW and an official from Tangedco, for evaluating the situation from time to time.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 5:29:50 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tangedco-told-to-pay-75-lakh-over-electrocution-of-animals/article38299784.ece