Dhenkanal Elephant Deaths: NGT Raises Penalty On CESU To Rs 4 Cr

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has revised the penalty on the Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) for the recent death of seven elephants in Dhenkanal to Rs 4 crore.

Four days after the incident inside forest near Kamalanga village in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district, the Tribunal on October 30 had slapped Rs 1 crore on the power distribution company.

A division bench of NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel on Thursday revised the penalty and directed the CESU to deposit Rs 4 crore with the State Forest and Environment Department.

The bench also directed the state government to utlise the penalty amount in the formulation of a comprehensive action plan for the safety of the elephants.

Following the death of seven elephants, a four-member NGT team had visited the Kamalanga village on November 30 for an on-the-spot investigation.

A herd of 13 wild elephants had entered their village on October 26. While passing through the village, seven of them came in contact with a live high tension transmission line and died on the spot.

The railway authorities had assigned a company for construction of a railway over-bridge in the area for which CESU had provided power from a temporary feeder by pulling the transmission line at a height of eight feet above the ground in gross violation of the Government of India guidelines.

According to former PCCF, Bijay Ketan Patnaik, the 11 KV high-tension transmission line must be pulled at a height of 17-18 feet above the ground.

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