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Glacial burst wrecks havoc on its downhill path

Glacial burst wrecks havoc on its downhill path Sumesh Rajan Mumbai: 7 February 2021  A glacial burst in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state in India on February 7 has caused massive havoc on its downhill path along the Dhauliganga and Rishiganga rivers.  The disaster occured after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Joshimath in Uttarakhand.  The Tapovan power plant being constructed over the Dhauligana river and the Rishiganga power project across the Rishiganga river -- a tributary of Dhauliganga -- have been damaged completely with sludge overwhelming the projects, say local officials.  Over 150 people are said to have lost their lives in this disaster and scores are missing. Ten bodies have been recovered so far from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) power project site at Tapovan, said the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officials. The missing persons are believed to be labourers working at the dam sites and villagers along the river. T

Elephant runs amok, mahout escapes by a whisker


Story by Sagaya Fernando

Mumbai: February 27, 2018



mahout (caretaker/driver of an elephant) had a narrow escape in India after the elephant he was riding on went berserk.

The incident took place at Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple at Kottayam district in the southern Indian state of Kerala in the early hours of February 26 during temple festivities.

Videos shot by bystanders show the hapless mahout sitting atop an ornamented and apparently tormented elephant as part of the temple parade. The tusker lost its cool and suddenly turned violent after another jumbo jabbed it with its tusk.

The elephant tried to shake down the mahout with vigorous body movements. The tusker can be seen vigorously moving its head and shaking its body, all the while even as the mahout can be seen clinging to his dear life. In the commotion that followed, a stampede-like situation prevailed and several people were injured.

A few people, safely perched atop the temple structure just above the angry pachyderm, threw a rope down and the mahout grabbed it and was lifted up to safety. As soon as the mahout was pulled up, onlookers can be seen heaving a sigh of relief and cheering.

This incident has once again raised questions about the treatment of captive elephants in India, especially the temple elephants of Kerala.

“Elephants in captivity are being exploited for profit in tourism and in festivals under the guise of religion. Many are forced to stand still for hours on end to bless devotees. It is not in the nature of elephants to be immobile. In their natural habitats in the jungles they continuously walk on foraging for food, but in captivity they are chained and kept immobile which frustrates them and makes them run amok,” says wildlife activist Suparna Ganguly who is the Co-founder Trustee of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) and Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC), Bengaluru.

She further added, “These tuskers are forced to walk in blistering heat on hot tar roads, stand at one place continuously thereby causing pain to their legs. The captive elephants also get agitated by loud noise like bursting crackers and confined space. Moreover, they are paraded even during their musth -- an annual cycle when the male elephants are in their peak mating season, characterized by highly aggressive behavior. Unable to withstand the heat and pain, elephants run amok.” 




















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