Dehradun, Oct. 11 -- Questioning the use of 'mirchi' (red chillies) in food items to stop wild elephants from crossing NH 121 passing through Corbett landscape to reach Kosi river, the Uttarakhand high court on Thursday sought reply from the forest department on the matter by October 15.

The directions were issued by a division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice Alok Kumar Verma while hearing a PIL filed by Delhi-based Independent Medical Initiative Society.

In July, forest officials decided to mix red chillies in the food items like flour along with the other ways like torchlight patrolling (mashaal), drum beating, bursting crackers and firing in air to discourage elephants from attacking the vehicles, especially vehic...