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What is the News?
Project Elephant Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has published data. It highlights the number of elephants killed by trains on railway tracks.
Key Highlights from the Published data:
- There was killing of a total of 186 elephants after being hit by trains across India between 2009-10 and 2020-21.
- Assam accounts for the highest number of elephant casualties on railway tracks. It was followed by West Bengal, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh.
- In the year 2012-13, 27 elephants were killed in 10 States. It is the highest number of elephants killed in a year due to trains.
Measures taken to avoid elephant casualties on railway lines:
Permanent Coordination Committee to prevent elephant deaths by trains:
- A Permanent Coordination Committee has been constituted between the Ministry of Railways(Railway Board) and the MoEFCC for preventing elephant deaths in train accidents.
- Composition: The committee comprises officers from the Indian Railways and State Forest Departments.
- Steps Taken: The committee has taken steps such as:
- clearing of vegetation along railway tracks to enable clear view for loco pilots;
- signage boards at suitable points to alert loco pilots about elephant presence;
- moderating slopes of elevated sections of railway tracks; underpass/overpass for safe passage of elephants;
- regulation of train speed from sunset to sunrise on vulnerable stretches; and
- regular patrolling of vulnerable stretches of railway tracks by the frontline staff of the Forest Department and wildlife watchers.
Funds released under Project Elephant:
- The MoEFCC has released 212.49 crores between 2011-12 and 2020-21 to elephant range States under Project Elephant to:
- Firstly, to protect habitats and corridors of elephants
- Secondly, to address issues of man-elephant conflict and
- Thirdly, to protect captive elephants.
- Kerala stood at the top in getting funds during the above period. On the other hand, Punjab received the lowest of the funds.
Source: The Hindu