Committed to take preventive measures, says Southern Railway

Southern Railway said that it is committed to take preventive measures in coordination with the Forest Departments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to prevent cases of elephants getting hit by trains in future.

In a statement issued on Monday following the incident of three elephants being knocked down by a train near Madukkarai on November 26, Southern Railway said that it is taking measures to implement recommendations made by a committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal to contain the mortality of elephants on railway tracks. The permanent speed restrictions of 45 kmph during night hours and 65 kmph during day time will continue, the statement said.

Between April and September this year, 24 incidents of elephants being sighted near the track have been reported, according to the statement. During the financial years of 2020-21, 2019-20 and 2018-19, the number of reported elephant sightings near the railway tracks was 69, 61 and 24 incidents respectively.

The three elephants – a pregnant female, a makna male and a female calf – were knocked down by Train No. 12602 Mangalore Central – Dr. MGR Chennai Central Superfast Express between Walayar and Ettimadai within Palakkad Railway Division. With the railway line between Palakkad and Podanur being a twin single line comprising A line and B line, Southern Railway noted that both the lines can be used for operating trains from either direction. However, operation of goods train on the A line is difficult due to the rising gradient towards Podanur.

“In adherence to this operational practice, a goods train was run on B line at the time of the incident and hence, Train no. 12602 had to be run on A line,” the statement said.

Preventive measures such as regular clearing of vegetation along the railway tracks, installing solar fencing at ground level with electric voltage of 12 V near the tracks to deter elephants, constructing elephant ramps and installing solar lights have been implemented by the Palakkad Division to prevent such incidents, Southern Railway stated.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 6:49:08 AM |

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