Kochi: Kuttampuzha, in the eastern outskirts of Ernakulam, is witnessing straying of wild elephants into populated areas and many of them being electrocuted in the process. Now environmentalists say authorities have failed to curb the straying of elephants and their electrocution.
“The other day a 22-year-old elephant was electrocuted in the compound of a house in Pooyamkutty road near Anakkayam at Kuttampuzha. This is third elephant to die in the season in these parts and every monsoon season many elephants are electrocuted in these areas though the government estimates in the region put it at six to eight elephants every season,” said Aziz Kunnapp-illy, an environmentalist heading the green organisation Green People.
Mr Aziz said that elephants that get stranded by the deforestation and encroachment in the corridors used by the elephants stray into areas where settlers have set up homes. “They can’t find fodder anymore in the depleted forest. The unscientific fencing in the tracts used by elephants leads to their deaths by electrocution. When elephants stray into other areas, it contributes to destruction of farms set up by settlers,” said Mr Aziz.
According to environmentalist Prof S.Seetharaman, the disconnect of the once aligned forest areas of Kuttampuzha, Vadattupara and Pooyamkutty spread in over 2000 hectares in the impact of establishment of human settlements and deforestation has literally thrown the life of elephants out of gear. “They have lost track of their traditional paths known as elephant corridors and they can’t be blamed if they stray into the settlement areas. The encroachers should be evicted from the elephant corridors and the electric wire fencing in such areas should be removed to find a solution to the issue,” said Prof Seetharaman.
“The Gadgil report has also highlighted the issue and it is high time the government acted on the issue sensibly so that our elephants are protected,” said Mr Aziz....