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Energy dept accused of violating wildlife laws

The Pioneer , Monday, January 01, 2007
The State's Department of Energy has been accused of violating Wildlife Protection Act. The department-appointed contractors, who have undertaken the job of erecting power transmission lines inside the deep jungle of Gajapati district have allegedly violated the law.
It has been alleged that with the full knowledge of departmental officials, the power transmission line is being drawn and transmission towers are being erected inside the Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary without any permission of the wildlife officials. The sanctuary in the Chandragiri Range spreads over an area of 185.87 sq km. It abounds in elephants, spotted deer and wild boar, among other wildlife animals.
Parlakhemundi Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) PK Sarangi, in a letter to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and the Chief Wildlife Warden, has reported the matter of violation of the law. The DFO, who is also in the charge of the sanctuary, has alleged that due to their political influence, the contractors are humiliating the wildlife officials, who are a demoralised lot. It has also been alleged that the people are being incited against the officials. The DFO has sought appropriate steps against the erring people, sources said.