The National Green Tribunal(NGT) of India has imposed a fine on the state government of Odisha over the electrocution of elephants in the state.
The NGT fine of 40 million Indian rupees ($5.7 million) has been imposed on Odisha state's Central Electrical Supply Undertaking (CESU) for its laxity towards the safety of humans and animals. This penalty by NGT is in addition to the previous fine of 10 million Indian rupees ($1.5 million) on CESU, which NGT had levied in lieu of Suo-motu cognizance of media reports in the month of October.
"The deaths of the elephants was due to sheer carelessness. Our organisation had on several occasions informed the forest department about 200 locations in Dhenkanal alone where high voltage power lines are open and prone to cause calamity and deaths. These deaths were murder", Dr Biswajit Mohanty of Wildlife Society of Odisha, told local media about the historic NGT decision.
The region was gripped with civil tension after the incident in October with locals holding railway construction site and power department responsible for the deaths of the animals.