At least 47 elephants have been electrocuted in West Bengal since 2015, data from the state forest department has revealed. While 22 were killed in south Bengal, another 25 were killed in north Bengal.
Keeping in view the safety of wild animals, the state government is now planning to insulate low-tension wires that crisscross the elephant corridors.
The forest and power departments are also mulling to install energised electrical fences with low voltage at some places along elephant corridors.
The decision came after the Calcutta High Court in September took suo-moto cognizance of reports of elephant electrocution in the state and ordered to stop elephant deaths by electrocution.
The animal-human conflict has been a problem in the state for decades now. Between 2014 and 2019, West Bengal accounted for the highest number of people killed by tigers and the second-highest by elephants.
The state government has begun providing jobs to the families of people killed by wild elephants, tigers and other animals since 2015 in the state.
"At least 584 people were killed by wild animals in the state between 2015 and 2020 [till October 31]. In the first phase at least 434 people would be provided with the jobs of home guards," an official of the state forest department said.
"Till date villagers killed by elephants used to get a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakhs. We have taken a policy decision that henceforth we will provide a member of the victim's family a job of the home guard," the official said.
West Bengal is home to over 700 elephants and nearly 100 tigers.
The decision to offer jobs to the families of those who were killed by wild animals comes at a time when the assembly elections are nearing in the state.
The state government has also decided to provide jobs to family members of missing people abducted by Maoists.