Elephant Corridor Death Trap

On last Sunday, there was one incident of killing of six elephants near Suballay forest by super fast express train, and now war of words among center who controls the railway and the provincial government who had the responsibility to manage forest and wild life segment.

At the first instance the state government said that the accident was due to negligence of railway authorities and that was controlled by the center To strengthen their thoughts and words, the state government had filed a compliant against driver of super fast express.

On the other hand, DRM of Khurda Road, called a press conference and he told that for this gruesome incident where six elephants including small elephant and one pregnant lady elephant died at railway track after colliding with super fast express, was due to negligence of forest and wild life department of state government, railway belong with center so in a way there has been war of words among state and the center over responsibility. DRM also told that train driver was not responsible for this. He had not done any wrong on his part.

This sad incident happened on December 30, and then question rose over proper coordination among sate and the center and now there seemed to be conscious attempt by both the parties to shift the responsibility. DRM of railway division said that, forest department did not convey them the exact movement of elephants in that route and due to night time and that too inside jungle, the train had to run with great speed, to avoid any dacoits or other miscreants from entering the train.

Due to non communication on the part of state government this incident occurred. He also added that on December 30 at 12.43 AM in night, forest ranger telephoned railway control room, and they had the four minutes of talk, but sadly the incident was occurred before phone call. If that phone call would have been 30 minutes before this incident then this gruesome incident could have been easily averted.

DRM told the press that likes state government; railway department had been severely at pain with the death of elephants. DRM also added that, there could be role of poachers in this incident and this should include in the investigation. It was evident from the last minute call from forest department that they had the news of active elephant movement in and around that area. There had been some sort of unconfirmed news that about ten forest officials had been actively engaged in moving the elephant to a safer place.

Surprisingly after this worst incident where six elephants died, the teeth of male elephants were missing and this tends to show that must be some sort of poaching activities involved with this incident. He also added that there should be proper man management from forest department to look into proper care of elephants, and there should be proper coordination among forest and forest and wild life departments.

Then some asked DRM , why the speed of the train inside elephant corridor not been reduced to 20 to 30 kilometers , then DRM said ,it was not possible to reduce the speed of train through out the year , the speed could be reduced with proper information sharing and that too 30 minutes before this , there should be proper written communication on the part of state government to railway division to reduce the speed of the train and then the department takes the action related to it , other wise it is not possible to reduce the speed of the train without such notice or antecedents.

He also told that to stop the inadvertent killing of elephants that had been time and again crossing the forest through rail lines, a coordinated meeting and declaration did by railway and environment department and no where it is urged to reduce the speed of train. There are other principles in that charter is laid and that was obliged by railway department and its field services.

In one such rule it has been said that the field rangers those who are watching the movements of elephants should have been equipped with mobiles , and if there is no connectivity then the forest department should employ wireless connectivity in those locations where it felt the region for elephant movement is more sensitive. It had been written that forest department should inform railway department two hours before they think that elephant might intrudes into train routes.

On the other hand the state government , earlier gave the rules that had been prior decided , in which it was mentioned that in the areas where there is elephant corridor , the speed of the train to be reduced to bear essentials to save elephants who inadvertently crosses the railway lines .

The state minister clearly stated that, there is

six sign boards in ten kilometers areas of elephant corridor and the train driver should be aware of this, and he should have slow down the speed of the train, in one such instance, inside Rajaji park of Dehradoon the speed of train was reduced to 50 kilometers always through out the year so , this can be done here at elephant corridor .

On 18 the December , forest department send letter to railway department but sadly they are now not confirming this and also the bushed in and around elephant corridors that were nearer to railway lines should be cut short but that was not done there. Now ,the railway had cleared all the bushes that were nearer to 30 meters from rail line and with this some steps now been taken to safe elephants from death trap.

Now, for the last three days, speed of the trains that were running through elephant corridors has been reduced to safeguard elephants crossing through these corridors. After this incident, the state government had sent the letter to center to reduce speed of super-fast express in four areas. The forest and wild life division of state government had detected four sensitive areas and send the letter to center to reduce the speed of train in those areas.

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