Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fused out

Electricity has become one of the most essential commodities for humans, ever since it was invented.To satisfy the needs of the growing economy of the country, development is a must and with it, there has been exponential increase in power consumption. To cater to this need, large tracts of forest have been cleared up to setup Hydel power projects, which bring in a whole spectrum of problems with it. New roads are made, people from great distance settle there, the forests are submerged, cleared and felled to build the dam leading to habitat fragmentation with which, the local biodiversity is lost or altered to a significant extent.
These power projects have problems persisting years after they are commissioned. Electrocution is one such example. Though humans are safe from it, thanks to the danger signs, wildlife unfortunately, is not. The high voltage power lines passing through forests cause habitat fragmentation and hinder the movement of animals; the animals are also prone to electrocution when they come in contact with the line while moving through the forest. Arboreal wildlife like the endemic Nilgiri Langurs and the Lion tailed macaques are in high risk and they have been seen hanging dead on the power lines at frequent intervals. Recently, two Nilgiri langurs, endemic primates got electrocuted and were discovered by some researchers; both of them, in prime health condition were adult females and were instantly killed due to the high voltage. Such mortalities on the long run can affect the population if breeding females or infants get caught in the maze of power which cris-cross forests all over the country and measures like the use of alternate sources of energy and judicious usage of power resources is the only viable option to prevent an energy crisis to destroy our already depleting forests.


  1. Sad to read this, but as you say, electricity is essential, easy solutions.

  2. This problem deserves a newspaper article - question is, will it be published...The pic of the dead langur is heart wrenching. Along with the beauty of the forest, you must be getting to see so many of these sad things...