Madurai: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has taken suo motu cognisance of a newspaper report on the electrocution of five elephants at the same spot in the Vanniyar reserve forest near Cumbum range and issued directions to the authorities to change the low-lying electric wires in the reserve forest.
An elephant and her calf were electrocuted on June 19 this year and on September 4, a nine-year-old elephant was electrocuted. Very recently, on November 24, two elephants were found dead at the same spot and the cause of death was said to be electrocution, the report stated.
The report highlighted the callous attitude of the forest department and pointed out an example from neighboring Kerala, where power supply to Mullaperiyar dam was disconnected years ago after an elephant was electrocuted. “Kerala forest department gives importance to the conservation of wild animals and reserve forests. It will not pass any project that goes against its rule or poses a threat to the environment,” the report added.
The report suggested that the forest department should have taken immediate action in co-ordinance with the Tangedco after the first elephant died and should have prevented further deaths.
A division bench of justice K K Sasidharan and justice G R Swaminathan took suo motu cognisance of the matter and issued directions to the forest department to initiate necessary steps.