Permanent Body to Prevent Elephant Deaths on Railway Tracks
A permanent coordination committee has been set up by the Union Environment Ministry that also includes the Ministry of Railways to prevent the deaths of elephants on railway tracks.
- In 2018-19, 19 elephants were killed on railway tracks across the country.
- In 2019-20, 14 elephants were killed and in 2020-21 the number stands at 12.
- Several steps have been taken to reduce the number of elephants’ deaths on railway tracks.
- According to a Comptroller and Auditor General report, the second-largest reason for the deaths of elephants in an unnatural manner was railway collisions.
The steps taken to prevent the deaths of elephants on railway tracks
The steps taken include
- making temporary as well as permanent restrictions on speed in areas identified as elephant habitats and corridors and habitats,
- ramps and underpasses have also been built for the easy movement of elephants,
- at selected locations fencing have been provided,
- signages have been erected to warn the drivers of the trains about elephant corridors,
- station masters and the crew of the trains have been sensitized so that train collisions with elephants are avoided,
- vegetation on the sides of the track has also been cleared,
- Forest Department staff have also been deputized to liaison with the railway authorities,
- the forest departments have engaged elephant trackers so that they can alert engine drivers and station masters,
- Meetings have been held between railway departments and state forest departments.
Publishing of a document
The Wildlife Institute of India, which falls under the ambit of the Environment Ministry, has published a document titled ‘Eco-Friendly Measures to Mitigate Impacts of Linear Infrastructure’ with the aim of assisting the various agencies in designing infrastructure to reduce animal-human conflicts. This document has been published in consultation with the National Highway Authority, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, World Bank Group, and National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Category: India Nation & States Current Affairs
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