Bhubaneswar: As many as 406 elephants were killed in Odisha in the last five years due to various reasons, State Minister of Forest, Environment and Climate Change Bikram Keshari Arukha informed in the ongoing winter session of the state assembly on Tuesday.
Replying to an unstarred question of Congress Jatni MLA Suresh Kumar Routray, the Minister said that said out of 406 elephants while 162 died due to accidents and 11 were killed by poachers during 2016-17 to 2020-21
“Out of 162 accidental deaths, 14 died in train accidents, 4 in road accidents, 54 in electrocution and 90 for other reasons,” he added.
Further, Arukha informed the House that the government has formed three elephant conservation projects —Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, and Mahanadi elephant conservation projects to check the deaths of elephants.
Besides, the government has dug ponds, developed meadows, undertaken plantation drives and made provisions for salt lick in various animal habitats, and traditional elephant corridors, he added.
The Minister also informed that villagers residing close to the forest are being informed about the movement of elephants through Elephant Monitoring App.
“Steps are being taken to prevent accidental death of elephants and coordination meeting with the officials of the energy department, Railways, the state works department and National Highway Authority of India are being held frequently to chalk out and implement measures to safeguard the pachyderms,” Arukh stated.
In order to curb poaching activities, field officials are deployed in strategic places while drones & watchtowers are being used to keep a strict vigil on the elephant habitats, their movements and also the movement of poachers.
The Minister also Arukh informed that the government has plans for radio-collaring the elephants creating problems to monitor their movement, setting up an elephant rescue centre, chalking out a strategy with the consultation of the people and strengthening the facilities for the treatment of wild animals.