Monday, 30th October 2017

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Fatal jolt to elephant

Low-hanging power cable causes death

By Jayesh Thaker in Jamshedpur
  • Published 5.07.15
Villagers gather around the elephant’s carcass at Kultang village in Bodam block of East Singhbhum district on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Jamshedpur, July 4: A 35-year-old female elephant, touted to be the "pride" of Kultang village in Bodam block of East Singhbhum, died after coming into contact with a low-hanging 11,000W transmission line in the wee hours of today with state forest officials planning to sue the state power board for negligence.

The incident occurred at 4am when the animal was coming downhill to Kultang, some 10km from Jamshedpur.

Villagers informed the authorities of Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, under which the area falls, after which range officer Mangal Kachhap, forester Ravinder Kumar and guard Kaleshwar Bhagat rushed to the spot. N.K. Tirkey, a government veterinary doctor from Bodam, certified that the jumbo died due to shock.

Guard Bhagat said the elephant came downhill and was walking through a bushy route when she came in contact with the transmission line.

"The elephant, unaware of the lurking danger ahead, climbed a mound and her head suddenly touched the power supply line. Yeh hathi hamari shaan thi. Kabhi bhi kisi ke kheto ko nuksan nahin pahuchaya. Bahut dukh ho rahan hain ki woh hamare beech nahin rahi. Bijli supply karne walo par mukadma hona chahiye. Hamne bhi bahut shikayat ki par kuch nahin hua (. "I am not aware that our transmission lines are hanging low," he said.

But JUVNL junior engineer Dileshwar Mahto claimed the forest officials never complained about the low height of power lines. "The poles will be erected in a day or two."

On why JUVNL did not inspect the area and assess the danger, Mahto said they were short of manpower. "Most of the times, we are busy repairing snags. So, attention is seldom paid to maintenance."