The NF Railway has initiated an inquiry after the 12424 New Delhi – Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express mows down two wild elephants near Jagiroad station in central Assam’s Morigaon district.
“After the incident of last night, N.F. Railway has proactively decided to conduct a detailed inquiry of the incident and has imposed caution during train movement and reassessment of notified elephant corridors are also being taken in coordination with Forest department,” said a statement.
The driver of the 12424 Rajdhani Express that left Guwahati for Dibrugarh reported a side collision by an elephant with an engine while on run at about 10 pm.
“The section where the incident occurred is not a forest declared elephant corridor. No information from Forest officials or villagers on the movement of the elephant in the area was received by the nodal railway officials,” said NF Railway.
As a preventive measure, the forest department and railways have dedicated representatives from both sides at the railway’s divisional 24 hr working control office, but no information regarding the movement of elephants was available with the forest official available at control as well, it said.
After the incident, information was given by railway officials to the Forest department.
The Forest department informed that the area was not frequented by elephants and there were no such incidents of train hit or sightings in the area in the recent past.
However, since paddy is being cultivated in the area presently, the elephants might have reached the area for crop-raiding.
All dashing cases are treated like accidents as it not only loss of wildlife but endanger the lives of hundreds of passengers travelling by train.
In the past, N.F. Railway has taken various initiatives to avoid train-elephant collision and dashing, the statement added.
–All train drivers and trackmen have been counseled to observe all permanent and temporary speed restrictions in notified sections.
–Fixing of a buzzer with Honey Bee sound at Level crossing gates of vulnerable locations had proved to be an effective method for chasing away elephants.
–The staff of pantry cars, as well as train passengers, is being sensitized not to throw any eatable/leftover on or near the railway track so that elephants or any other animals don’t get lured to the track.
–Signage Boards have been provided at all identified elephant corridors to the pre-warn driver at the locations decided by Forest Department.
–Clearance of vegetation on both sides of the railway track is being done on regular basis to improve the visibility of drivers.
–Constant coordination and communication with the Forest department.