6 elephants die in 14 days in Odisha sanctuary; CM asks authorities to take steps

Bhawanipatna: After six elephants died in just 14 days at Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday asked the authorities to take immediate measures to stop the fatalities.

One more female elephant was found dead near a waterbody in the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, a forest official said.

Earlier, four female pachyderms and a calf have died there since February 1.

According to the 2018 census the sanctuary had 17 elephants.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Kalahandi South Division Ashok Kumar and his team and veterinary doctors are camping in the area undertaking surveillance.

“The death of elephants is due to Haemorrhage Septicemia (HS),” the DFO said.

However, the DFO said that there was no report of the death of other animals in the sanctuary and the cattle entering the forest from nearby villages.

Expressing concern over the series of pachyderm deaths, the chief minister directed the departments of Forest and Environment and Animal Resources to consult experts of the Odisha and outside in order to stop further death of jumbos.

During a review meeting held through video conference, Patnaik also directed the district administration of Kalahandi and the DFO to ensure vaccination of cattle in villages close to the sanctuary.

He said that all the water bodies in the sanctuary should be disinfected and water samples should be sent to labs for tests.

Official sources said that there are at least 43 water bodies in the sanctuary of which 25 have been disinfected so far.

Coordinator from Centre for Wildlife Health, OUAT (Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology), Bhubaneswar, Niranjan Sahu after visiting Karlapat sanctuary said: “The death of elephants is believed to be by HS. The postmortem report and laboratory report of one dead elephant is hinting at HS.”

Cattle get infected by HS if not vaccinated, Sahu said, adding that this is perhaps the first incident where elephants are also infected with HS.

He said vaccination of domesticated cattle in the villages located inside the sanctuary and sanitization is in progress by veterinary staff supported by forest staff.

Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) Dr Chaitanya Sethi said that as of now there is no reported death of domesticated cattle in the area due to HS.

Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 175 square kilometre area and is famous for lush green dry deciduous forest, varieties of flora and fauna and animals like, elephant, leopard, Gaur, Sambar, barking deer, Indian wolf, wild dog, wild pig, sloth bear, Malbar giant squirrel and Pangolin.

This apart a variety of birds like peafowl, peacock, hornbill, Red jungle fowl, partridges, Spurfawl, Hill Myna, Brahminy kite and reptilian fauna includes Mugger, crocodile, monitor lizard, snakes both poisonous and non-poisonous are found in the sanctuary.

The forest consists of flora like Sal, Bija, Asan, Harida, Amala, Bahada and Bamboo and varieties of medicinal plants.

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Odisha Engineer Arrested Over Assets Worth Rs 6.53 Crore, Including 48 One-Bedroom Flats

There are 3 registered companies in the name of his son as director, officials said (Representational)


The anti-corruption vigilance sleuths of Odisha Police on Wednesday arrested an assistant executive engineer (AEE) for having assets worth Rs 6.53 crore including 48 one-bedroom flats, an official said.

The vigilance sleuths on Tuesday conducted simultaneous raids on different properties of AEE Rabindra Nath Pradhan in Bhubaneswar and other places based on the allegation of acquisition of assets disproportionate to the known sources of income.

The other properties of Pradhan included two doublestoried buildings, one single room house, eight plots, two four wheelers, deposits in different banks, investment in insurance policies, gold and silver ornaments, cash and household articles, a vigilance release said.

“Thus, the total assets of Rabindra Nath Pradhan, Assistant Executive Engineer, GPH Division-II, Bhubaneswar and his family members has been calculated as Rs.6,53,86,710,” it said.

There are three registered companies in the name of his son as director.

The official said two of the companies deal with real estate and construction and the third company deals with food processing and preservation. Besides, his son also has a partnership firm dealing with agricultural products.

Pradhan was produced before the Court of Special Judge, Vigilance, Bhubaneswar which sent him to judicial custody till November 3. The court also rejected his bail application, the official note said.

Vigilance SP M Radhakrushna said that Pradhan’s case was the first of its kind in the history of Odisha Vigilance.

“No government official had ever been found possessing such huge properties,” he said.

He said Pradhan could not account for the properties in his possession satisfactorily. A case has been registered under section 13(2), 13(1)(b) Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Odisha seeks clarification on Business Reforms rank, cites in-congruence in reform execution

NEW DELHI: The government of Odisha said that the rankings released by the centre under the Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) neither reflect the current business environment in the state nor incorporate the recent reform initiatives that it has implemented.

The rankings released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on Monday ranked Odisha at 29 among 36 states and union territories which participated in the BRAP 2018-19. Andhra Pradesh retained its top position in ease of doing business ranking 2019, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.

Citing incongruence in the results, Odisha alleged that states/UTs which have implemented no/much lower number of reforms have been ranked higher than states which have implemented significant reforms.

Explaining that the state was the top investment destination in the country in April-September 2019 when it attracted the highest amount of investment at 18% of total investment in India, the Odisha government said: “Thus, these rankings do not reflect the current business environment in the state and do not incorporate the recent reform initiatives implemented by the state”.

As per an official statement, the state received more than 200 investment proposals even during Covid-19 period.

It said it implemented 180 out of 187 reform action points recommended by DPIIT and the evidence of implementation was submitted by the state and the evidence for all 180 reforms was also approved by the department.

The state government further said that the survey agency appointed by DPIIT could not complete the feedback survey with the industries and MSMEs in the state and therefore the reforms implemented by the state could not be accounted for.

“Further details and clarifications on the evaluation methodology will be sought from DPIIT, government of India on the results announced,” it said.

Odisha is taking up the matter with DPIIT in the light of the fact that some states and UTs which have implemented lesser number of reforms (one of them zero) are placed higher in ranking than Odisha, according to the statement.

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