The Wildlife Protection Society of India (South India) has urged Southern Railway to shift one the railway tracks from the Walayar forests to save wild animals from getting hit by trains.

In a letter to the General Manager, Southern Railway, here on Monday, S. Guruvayurappan, project officer and coordinator of the organisation, said the ‘B' line should be shifted parallel to National Highway no. 47. Steps such as electric fencing and digging of trenches had failed to keep away the animals from the tracks.

The society, in letters to the Chief Conservators of Forests of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, also opposed the move to fire bullet-less noise guns and use of smoke to scare away animals from entering human settlements in Palakkad district.

“The smoking method to keep away elephants uses a combination of elephant dung, red chilly and tobacco leaves tied in paddy straw. It can burn five to eight hours. It will be burnt at different locations to keep away elephants. The irritating sensation from the smoke will keep away the elephants. It also keeps away other wildlife, including birds and smaller mammals. Thus, no animal will come near this smoke. But the effectiveness of this method varies from place to place. But the method is an unethical practice as it keeps away wildlife from forest area. This cannot be justified,” the letter said.

Smoke and noise guns were used in Assam and in some African countries to scare away animals. These methods not only irritated the animals and birds but also made elephants run amuck. They would thus cause more damage to human life and property. Such methods were in violation of many Acts and rules, such as the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the letter said.

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