Elephant deaths due to collisions: New plan to save jumbos from train hits

What is the News?

The Union Environment Ministry and the Railways Ministry are exploring a project to minimize accidents where elephants get killed due to collisions with trains.

What is the data on elephant deaths due to collisions with trains?

According to Government data, nearly 186 elephants are officially reported to have been killed due to collisions with trains in the last decade.

Most of these accidents did not occur in States with the highest elephant numbers. Instead, Assam, West Bengal and Uttarakhand which are hilly States saw the most number of casualties.

Reason: An elephant is the only mammal with six toes, one of which is exclusively for gripping slopes. Due to this, they take more time to descend slopes and when tracks are located at such locations, they tend to result in accidents.

What is the Government doing to minimize such accidents?

The Government of India is exploring an initiative where it will analyze patterns geographically and propose measures that the Railways can feasibly implement.

Other measures taken by Government: 1) Providing fencing at selected locations, 2) Erecting signage board to warn locomotive pilots about identified elephant corridors, 3) Sensitizing train crew and Station Masters on a regular basis, 4) Clearing vegetation on the sides of the track within railway land, 5) Deputing a Forest Department staff in Railway control offices to liaison with Railway and 6) Have the Forest Department engage elephant trackers for timely action by alerting station Masters and locomotive pilots.

Source: The post is based on the articleNew plan to save jumbos from train hitspublished in The Hindu on 15th June 2022.

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