GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2133
TO BE ANSWERED ON THE AUGUST 06, 2018
Electrocution of wild elephants by electric fences
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-
(a): Whether Government is aware of the death of wild elephants classified as endangered species according to the recent ‘Red List’ published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, on the edge of private estates in Kerala, due to contact with illegal, high-voltage, electrified fences; and
(b): Steps taken by Government to stop the persistent use of such illegal and dangerous fences by private estates, when a directive has been issued on 11 November 2009 by the Director, Project Elephant, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, banning the use of electric fencing in elephant-phone areas?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(DR. MAHESH SHARMA)
(a): Yes Sir.
(b): As per the information received from the state of Kerala, the necessary awareness activities in forest fringe areas have been initiated to avoid illegal electric fencing. Cases have been registered against the culprits and stringent action has been taken to stop the illegal activities by strengthening perambulation, patrolling and deployment of adequate staff and watchers in the estate localities.
The Ministry had advised, all the elephant range states vide letter dated 11.11.2009, to make it known to all tea gardens, coffee estate and other located in the elephant areas that no unregulated voltage power fencing may be erected and wherever deaths of elephants due to electrocution take place the management needs to be prosecuted for hunting.
Further all the elephants range states have been directed to follow the Guidelines for Management of Human Elephants Conflict issued by the Ministry on 6.10.2017 wherein it has been mentioned that solar fencing may be erected only under specific situations such as to protect small enclaves, institutions and individual farms. Community involvement is essential for maintenance of solar fences. Written agreement should be made with the community that they will take responsibility for its maintenance. Communities should be given monetary support for maintenance of fences provided they take responsibility of maintenance.