The decision to send four elephants from Assam for Jagannath Yatra in Gujarat has been kept on hold for the time being as experts opined against the transportation of the pachyderm due to the heat conditions in the route.
The forest department on June 28 issued the directive to ‘keep in abeyance’ the decision to send the elephants, a day after a team of experts and veterinarians opposed the move.
The department, which had set all procedures in motion to send the four elephants to Gujarat, was forced to reconsider its decision and consult the experts following an order by the Gauhati high court.
In the office order issued on June 27, state’s chief wildlife warden Ranjana Gupta said the permission granted to ‘the owners’ to transport the animals has been kept in abeyance due to ‘the prevailing heat wave conditions in North-West parts of India’.
A copy of the order was also marked to the managing trustee of Jagannathji Temple of Ahmadabad, Mahendra Jha.
The state forest department was reportedly under political pressure to arrange for four elephants to be sent to Ahmadabad in Gujarat for the Jagannath Yatra next month.
The move had, however, come under criticism in the state, resulting in a PIL in the Gauhati High Court and subsequent order by the court to the state government to consider all aspects before the elephants.