Chennai, March 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Tamil Nadu forest department has intensified patrolling along elephant pathways to monitor the solar fences that are illegally erected and with high voltage connectivity.
The Tamil Nadu forest department has woken up to the reality of illegal and high-voltage fences in elephant paths erected by farmers that have led to the death of elephants.
According to sources in the Tamil Nadu forest department, 89 elephants have died of electric shocks from solar fences erected illegally and with high voltage in the last 10 years.
Recently, three female elephants were electrocuted in Dharmapuri.
The Tamil Nadu forest department has already communicated to the local district collectors and state agriculture department to engage local bodies in monitoring the solar fences erected.
The forest department has also directed the district collectors to direct the farmers to get approval for the solar fence design as well as the voltage that would be passed through.
The Madras High Court had directed to use energisers that are BIS-compliant for voltage regulation.
The Madras High Court had also directed the state forest department to regulate solar fencing with post-facto approval but but the order has not been followed.
After the death of the three female elephants, the state forest department has taken measures to protect the lives of wild elephants and to stringently monitor the solar fences that are being erected.
Manoharan Sukumar, a wildlife activist from Dindigul district, while speaking to IANS said, "The death of three female elephants brought tears to the eyes of animal lovers. The elephants died due to the farmer erecting a solar fence with high voltage. There is a regulatory mechanism wherein the farmer has to take post-facto approval of the fence from the forest department and if the department had monitored this earlier, the lives of the elephants could have been spared."
He also said that the farmers will not be aware of whether the energiser they are using is legal or illegal, adding that awareness must be provided properly to all the farmers across the state bordering forest areas.
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