Odisha: Jumbo deaths heat on seven officials

Bhubaneswar: A day after seven elephants died of electrocution after coming in contact with a live wire in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district, six officials have been suspended and one was dismissed from service on charge of dereliction in duty.

According to official sources, three officials each from Forest Department and Central Electricity Supply Unit (CESU) have been placed under suspension.

After drawing flak from several quarters, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sandeep Tripathi took stern action against the erring staff. The suspended officials are Dhenkanal Range Officer Prasanna Biswal, Meramundali Section Forester Pravakar Rana and Forest Guard Girish Deuri.

Similarly, Naresh Pattnaik GM (Electrical), SDO Artatran Nayak and Meramundali lineman Firoz Panda of CESU were suspended for their negliegence in duty.

Besides, Sanjay Mohanty, a Junior Engineer of CESU, Meramundali was dismissed from the service in connection with the incident.

Earlier in the day, the Forest Department had blamed the electricity Department for the tragic death of seven elephants.

According to reports, non-rectification of sagging lines and non-cabling of transmission lines led to the tragedy in Meramundali section of Dhenkanal range. The carcasses were found lying in a ditch early on Saturday.

A herd of 13 jumbos was passing through the village in Sadar Forest Range when the seven got electrocuted by an 11-KV line, which was hanging loosely, Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Jitendranath Das said.

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