'HT line likely to affect wild animals'

The high-tension transmission line project is now hanging like a sword of Damocles on the wild life  in Kodagu district, which was identified by the UNESCO as one of the sensitive bio-diversity region.

The 400 kv high-tension line in South Kodagu will pass through forest and coffee estates. The forest in Kodagu is known for its rich flora and fauna and if the trees are felled to facilitate the work on high-tension transmission line, then animals and birds will lose their habitat, said Coorg Wildlife Society President C P Muthanna.

“Elephants, tiger, leopard, fox, deers are found in Nagarahole sanctuary situated in the South Kodagu. If trees are felled inside the coffee estates, then where will the animals take shelter? With no option, they might end up in entering villages,” he added.

With the shortage of food and water inside the forest, wild animals like elephants have already started sneaking in to paddy fields, coffee estates in search of food.

The elephant corridor passes through Nagarahole sanctuary to Brahmagiri hillocks near Kutta.

The high-tension transmission will pass through the elephant corridor. If the work on the high-tension line is taken up, then it will affect the movement of elephants. There are all chances of intensifying human-elephant conflict, he added.

“Ultra sound signal flash light will be used in the high-tension transmission line. The flash light is likely to disturb elephant,” Muthanna added. Elephant expert Sukumaran will head a technical committee constituted by the State government to explore an alternative route. He had written a letter to Union Minister Veerappa Moily in January to change the route, Muthanna said.

Power Grid clarifies

Power Grid Corporation of India Chief Manager C D Kishor said “we have taken enough measures to look into the safety of wild animals. To ensure that the trunk of elephants do not touch the line, the wire will be laid 15 metre above the ground. Normally, electric wires are laid nine metre above the ground.  There will be no problem to the elephant corridor, he emphasised.”

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