Electrocution of tigers seizes Maha govt's attention

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 07:08 hrs

Pune: Poachers have devised an ingenious way of killing tigers by electrocuting the big cats in the remote and wild areas of Maharashtra.

Taking a serious note of deliberate electrocution of tigers, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has suggested a coordination committee comprising of forest department and MSEDCL officials to work out ways to prevent such incidents at a time when the state is keen to promote its tiger conservation programme.

Poachers have been found lowering the 11 kw high tension power lines of the State Electricity Board (MSEDCL) with hooks in the tiger sanctuaries of Vidarbha region, forest department officials said.

Unsuspecting tigers get electrocuted by the current when they come in contact with the wires, they said. These high tension power lines pass through the sprawling four tiger sanctuaries.

One of the proposals under consideration is to explore the feasibility of laying the high tension wires underground. Another suggestion is to use a rubber coating to insulate the wires passing through the sanctuaries.

A joint patrolling of both forest and electricity department too is being considered, official sources said. Special veterinary doctors are also being appointed in the buffer zones around the sanctuaries.

Notwithstanding deaths of 14 tigers last year (one due to electrocution), the estimated tiger population in Maharashtra has increased from 169 in 2010 to around 200 at present, forest department officials said.

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