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Assam MP seeks Javadekar's help to stop transport of 4 jumbos

Assam Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on Thursday sought the intervention of the Ministry of Environment to stop the transportation of four elephants to Ahmedabad for the July 4 Rath Yatra procession.

PTI PTI
Guwahati Published on: June 20, 2019 18:35 IST
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 Assam Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on Thursday sought the intervention of the Ministry of Environment to stop the transportation of four elephants to Ahmedabad for the July 4 Rath Yatra procession.

Transportation of the pachyderms in this sweltering heat could possibly pose a threat to their wellbeing, the Kaliabor MP said in a letter to Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar, emphasising that many wildlife activists have also opposed the decision of the state government.

"India is reeling under severe heatwave at the moment, and roughly half the country is enduring its worst drought in six decades. I am concerned over media reports that the Assam government is transporting four elephants for the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad," Gogoi said.

Elephants may contract skin infection and suffer from dehydration during the process, he said.

"It is also unclear if these elephants are wild or domesticated and whether the government rules allow transport of wild animals for religious events," he added.

Meanwhile, the state forest department officials said they were in the process of completing the formalities to send the four elephants, including two females, to Ahmedabad.

Upper Assam Forest Conservator Ranjan Kumar Das maintained that arrangements were being made to transport the four elephants to Ahmedabad by train.

The state authorities have officially granted permission to ferry the jumbos, and the Gujarat government has also issued a no-objection certificate, he said.

"The elephants will travel in a special coach attached to a passenger train, with attendants and veterinary doctors at their aid. It would take the animals about four days to reach Ahmedabad from Tinsukia in Upper Assam if the coach is connected to a passenger train.

"Sending them in a goods train is impossible," Das said, adding that the four beasts would be in Ahmedabad for around six months.

According to tradition, elephants are allowed the first glimpse of deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra during the Rath Yatra procession.

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