HC constitutes advisory council to probe elephant deaths

HC constitutes advisory council to probe elephant deaths

Chief Justice P Dinakaran has appointed the council, which is to be headed by senior advocate Madhusudan Naik.

The council will meet at least once in three months and will review media reports and reports by forest officials on the status of elephants. The appointment comes in the wake of a suo motu order passed by the Court after innumerable reports of elephant deaths in the State.

Meanwhile, the High Court has also recommended a series of short-term measures and has also accepted the government’s proposal for certain long-term measures to prevent deaths in the future. The court has given three months and six months respectively for the government to implement these measures.

As part of the short term measures, the HC has directed the government to fill up vacancies
in the forest department and suggested regular patrolling of sensitive areas. It has also asked the government to provide compensation for farmers, who have been affected by wild elephants straying into their land. Other measures that were suggested by the High Court include providing enough ammunition and also wireless communication for forest officials.

The Court has also accepted the government’s suggestion to appoint 75 personnel for the post of conservators and several other capacities. And to avoid felling of trees for fuel, the government has proposed to provide LPG at 80 per cent discount for villagers living within a five km radius of forests. Other longer term measures include equipping several villages with solar power.

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