Representational image. Image credit: The Better India

Elephant deaths by train accidents have shown a declining trend in 2018-19 as compared to 2016-17 and 2017-18, informed Babul Supriyo.

The Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change was replying to a query in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

“Due to concerted efforts taken by the Central and State Governments the elephant deaths by train accidents has been reducing in the recent years,” he said.

“Number elephant deaths reported in 2016-17 was 21 and in 2017-18 it was 20. In 2018-19, 19 deaths were reported in the country,” the minister said.

Even though Karnataka, Odisha, and West Bengal showed an increasing trend, however, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Kerala, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh reported less number of deaths.

“A number of measures taken by Zonal Railways in coordination with ministry and this have resulted in saving of elephants,” Supriyo added.

Preventive measures are as follows:

  • The imposition of permanent and temporary speed restrictions in identified elephant corridors
  • Provision of signage board to warn loco pilots about identified elephant corridors
  • Sensitization of train crew and Station Masters on a regular basis
  • Need-based clearance of vegetation on the sides of track within railway land
  • Construction of underpasses and ramps for movement of elephants at identified locations. Work is in progress at one more location in East Central Railway
  • Installation of Honey Bee sound system to scare away the elephants from coming near the track
  • Provision of fencing at isolated locations both by Railway and Forest Department
  • Deputing Forest Department staff in Railway control offices to liaison with Railway and engagement of elephant trackers by Forest Department for timely action by alerting Station Masters and Loco Pilots.
    Frequent coordination meetings between the State Forest Department and Railway department.

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