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ELEPHANT KILLED IN NOTIFIED ELEPHANT CORRIDORS

1 Jan 2018
Rajya Sabha


1511.    SHRIMATI AMBIKA SONI
DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY:
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:

(a)    the number of elephants killed in accidents in notified elephant corridors in the country, during the last three years;
(b)    whether it is a fact that 6 elephants were killed and many injured recently while crossing railway track in Sonitpur district of Assam recently;
(c)    if so, the details thereof; and
(d)    by when speed restriction of 30 kmph will be in force in the area and if so, the details of actions taken against the erring persons including Railway drivers by the administration?

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (DR. MAHESH SHARMA)
(a)    The deaths of elephants due to train hits in the country as per available information is at Annexure.

(b)&(c)    Yes Sir, as per the report received from the State Government of Assam 5 (five), 1 (one) male and 4 (four) female, wild elephants have died due to train hit in Bamgaon Tea Estate by Guwahati-Naharlogon Donypolo Intercity Express near Railway Gate No. 113 on 10.12.2017.  

(d)    The speed restrictions are only in force at identified vulnerable stretches.  Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam has reported that a FIR has been filed against the driver of the train by the Assam Forest Department with Government Railway Police (GRP) and it is learnt that Railway has also initiated departmental proceedings against the driver.  Further the Ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Railways has agreed to following decision/measures, to minimise accidental deaths of elephants due to train hits:

(i)    Identification of vulnerable sections of railway tracks.
(ii)    Regular patrolling of vulnerable stretches of railway tracks by frontline forest staff and wildlife watchers.
(iii)    Sending letters, emails, SMS messages regarding presence of elephants near vulnerable railway tracks.
(iv)    Regulation of train speed from sunset to sunrise at vulnerable stretches.
(v)    Sensitisation of staff of SFDs, Railways and local people.
(vi)    In order to develop specific strategies and for better coordination committees have been constituted between Zonal Railway Offices and State Forest Departments.

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