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Will file report within a mnth on removal of spikes to drive away elephants MoEF CC to SC



The Week, National, 17th September, 2018




New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) Monday told the Supreme Court that they would submit a report within a month on the issue related to removal of spikes and fireballs, which were allegedly used to drive away elephants in some states.


The ministry told a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that directions were issued by them to the forest departments that spikes should not be used for this purpose.


It said that these aspects were required to be looked into so that a comprehensive view could be taken keeping in mind totality of facts as it would also have impact in the matter related to elephants corridors in the country.


"How much time will you take to file a report on spikes and fireballs?," the bench asked.

The ministry said that they would take around one month time to submit a report. "Look at the entire issue in a humane manner," the bench told a senior official of 'Project Elephant' who was present in the court.


'Project Elephant' was launched in 1992 by the ministry to provide support to the states for protection of elephants and their habitats.


The apex court has posted the matter for further hearing on October 22.   Meanwhile, the counsel appearing for Karnataka said they have already started the removal process of spikes and have also filed an affidavit in this regard.


However, the counsel for the petitioner referred to media reports and claimed that in Karnataka, training was being given for use of fireballs to drive away the elephants as this method was found to be successful in West Bengal.


The apex court had earlier termed as "barbaric" the use of spikes and fireballs to drive away elephants and had directed the states to desist from using such methods.


The court's directions had come after it was told that these methods were being allegedly adopted in states like Karnataka, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha.


The court was hearing a petition which had raised the issue of tenders for procuring spikes and fireballs allegedly issued in these states.


The Karnataka government had earlier told the court that in July itself, the state authority had written letters to all the concerned officers to remove these spikes.


The counsel for West Bengal had said the state has issued guidelines that none of these harmful things would be used to divert the elephants.


 Similarly, the Jharkhand government had told the court that they have not put any restriction on the movement of wild elephants in the state. PTI ABA MNL SJK RKS KJ