NGO concerned over elephant deaths on railway tracksSeptember 15th, 2010 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS
Siliguri, Sep 15 (IANS) A leading NGO working for wildlife Wednesday alleged that the authorities’ failure to implement recommendations by an expert panel has led to an increase in elephant deaths on North Bengal railway tracks.
“To arrest the incidence of elephant killing on the railway track between Siliguri and Alipurduar railway stations in the North East Frontier Railway, several recommendations were made by the expert committee set up by the West Bengal forest department,” WWF-India director Saswati Sen alleged.
The recommendations were also forwarded to central forest and environment and railway ministries but no such recommendations have been implemented so far,” he added.
In a consultative meet on elephant mortality in northern West Bengal due to railway accidents and review of the measures taken, the members of the organisation’s state unit decided to set up a rapid action core group involving army personnel, railway, forest and other expertise on elephants, to take up the cause.
The committee will monitor whether recommendations made by the earlier expert committee and state government were being implemented properly or not.
The reports prepared by the state forest department show that more than three dozen elephants have been killed after being hit by trains between Siliguri and Alipurduar railway stations in the past nine years.
The organisation members also recommended that the railway should not set up double line on that section of the North East Frontier railway, besides suspending movements of trains during night.
The railway should maintain a minimum speed while running trains within this section.
The members also felt that awareness about elephants should be generated among the drivers so that they abide by the steps taken by the railway to prevent the killings of elephants being hit by trains.
A training programme for the drivers should be initiated, said a member.
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Tags: army personnel, central forest, core group, east frontier railway, elephants, expert committee, expert panel, killings, minimum speed, nine years, north bengal, organisation members, railway accidents, railway stations, railway track, rapid action, state forest department, training programme, west bengal, wwf india