The Odisha government on Saturday decided to prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan through national level institutes for newly allotted coal block areas keeping in view the safety of wild animals including elephants.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra here where it was agreed to engage reputed organizations like the Wildlife Institute of India or Indian Institute of Science, for preparing the plan as per national guidelines in a time bound manner, an official statement said.

Mahapatra directed the officials to expedite the preparation of a comprehensive wildlife (WL) management plan for newly allotted coal block areas. He gave this direction while reviewing the status of forest clearance and wildlife management in newly allotted coal blocks.

Additional Chief Secretary Forest and Environment Satyabrata Sahu informed the meeting that the newly allotted coal blocks included the major reserves like Utkal E coal, Radhikapur East Coal, Radhikapur West coal, and Naini coal blocks.

Their probable impact areas included Chhendipada, Kaniha, Jarpada ranges of Angul forest division, and Reamal range of Deogarh forest division, Sahu said.

The Chief Secretary told the officials to work out the comprehensive plan for protection and conservation of wildlife, and mitigation of the adverse impact of coal mining on movement of elephants.