The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre, the Railways and 11 States including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala on a public interest writ petition for a direction to take effective steps for protecting elephants from being killed in rail accidents.

A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra issued notice on a petition filed by Shakti Prasad Nayak challenging the inaction of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Indian Railways and various States in containing the widespread number of deaths of elephants on railway track either due to electrocution or being hit by trains.

The petitioner said train accidents claimed the lives of eight to ten elephants annually and since 1987, over 110 elephants had been killed in train accidents.

He said train accidents accounted for 37 per cent of elephant deaths in the country.

The petitioner said he made representations to the authorities concerned to take steps to protect the elephants from such accidents but no drastic step seemed to have been taken. Hence the present writ petition for a direction to the Centre and states to take immediate steps to prevent such accidents.