Cuttack, July 5: The Orissa High Court today served notice on the Odisha government and others concerned to file a response over the security and safety of elephants in the state.
The High Court made the direction while hearing a PIL seeking an amendment to the Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972 at the State-level. Cuttack-based activist Gita Rout had filed the PIL through Advocate Ashis Kumar Mishra.
The petitioner has sought the amendment along the lines of the Wildlife (Protection) (Assam Amendment) Act 2009 to control wildlife poaching. The next hearing of the matter will be conducted on July 25.
As per official statistics, as many as 784 elephants have died in the state between 2012-13 and 2021-22. As many as 34 elephants have been killed by poachers during this period while 36 elephants have died of accidents.
Curiously enough, the state government has claimed a rise in the state’s elephant population. The census conducted in 2017 had shown the presence of 1976 elephants in the state, which was 135 more than the headcount conducted in 2002.