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CAMPA Miss Tusker Care

While large numbers of elephants are dying due to electrocution, CAMPA funds are not made available for strengthening electrical infrastructure, thanks to obsolete rules governing the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).


For the first time Odisha has been given a highest funds of Rs.5933.89 Crore under CAMPA by the Government of India.

And the State has been urged to spend the funds for protection of nature and natural resources along with various developmental works.

Frequent deaths of elephants due to electrocution have become a major concern for the State Government over last 10 years.

With dwindling forest covers, elephants are coming out of forests to the open fields and they are sometimes facing deliberate and accidental electrocution.

While in 2018-19 total 93 elephants died due to various reasons, 24 pachyderm’s death occurred due to electrocution. Accidental cases were 15 and deliberate 9 cases have been reported.

Under this backdrop, Department of Energy have undertaken various initiatives to curb occurrences of such types of deaths affecting elephants.

However, improvement and strengthening of electrical infrastructure require Rs.550 Crore for which CAMPA Funds can be utilized.

DISCOMs have made a requisition for Rs.550 Crore for implementation of Phase IV initiative and as the Department of Energy has already covered three phases of strengthening the electrical infrastructure, it was requested to the Department of Forest & Environment to fund the amount from CAMPA Funds.

While Department of Forest and Environment feels the necessity for allocation of such funds, old rules governing CAMPA does not allow its funds for strengthening electrical infrastructure.

Under this backdrop, Ministry of Forest Environment and Climate Change has been requested to make necessary changes in rules of CAMPA to allow funding for such an urgent requirement.

With the improvement of electrical infrastructure in Elephant Corridors, the untimely deaths of the elephants will be kept in check, officials say.

Senior officials of the Residence Commissioner Office at New Delhi are in touch with MoEF&CC and they are impressing upon the senior officers of the Ministry.

Several Member of Parliament have also raised the issue with MoEF&CC to change the rules by bringing in amendments in CAMPA Act.

However bureaucratic wrangling is delaying the process, feel senior officials for which though huge funds are available in CAMPA, but those are not being utilized for the purpose of protecting elephants by strengthening electrical infrastructure in the elephant Corridors of the state. Centre framed CAMPA with an intention to conserve nature and its natural resources amidst the various development works.

Accordingly, funds should be made available for protection of elephants from electrocution and these wild animals can be save from any such accidents, said a senior officer engaged in distribution of power in an Elephant Corridor.
 


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