Solar power ‘surge’ in desert threatening lives of camels | Jaipur News

Jaisalmer/Jaipur: Solar companies in the windswept desert of Jaisalmer are allegedly laying a death trap for camels, which have been accorded the status of state animal.
In an incident on Saturday night, a camel bled to death after it was cut by sharp edged angles installed to erect solar panels in the desert while it was searching for food in Lala village.
Accusing the company staff, Khushal Raika, owner of the camel, said, “Careless company workers did not erect a fence after installing sharp edged angles. When the camel entered the plot, the workers chased it away. While running, it received several cuts on its body and ‘bled to death’.”
The region is purportedly home to the largest number of camels in the country. As per an estimate from the four villages of Sawata, Bhopa, Lala and Karda, there is a population of about 5,000.
Cattle breeders fear more such incidents could occur as, during this season, animals are usually left to graze.
A senior staff member of the solar power company, who did not wish to be named, refuted the allegation and claimed the death did not occur at their site. “The carcass was found at least 60 metres away from the project site. We have deployed staff to prevent animals from entering the site.”
Camels, which survive in the harshest of conditions and sweltering temperatures for ages, are now struggling for food after companies started cutting down trees in the desert on which they feed.
Environmentalist Sumer Singh Bhati alleged that the solar power companies are disturbing the ecology of the desert. Many desert trees, including ‘kumut’, ‘khejari’, ‘rohida’, ‘kair’, ‘jal’ and ‘bordi’, are fast disappearing from the desert as companies are cutting them down.
“The government should act on the issue at the earliest as solar power companies are setting up infrastructure at the cost of desert ecology. As acres of solar panels have sprung up across the desert, the change would result in extinction of many animals, birds and trees,” Bhati said.