Railways, T.N. Forest dept. showdown over jumbo deaths

The tragic death of three elephants on the railway track in the Tamil Nadu forest region on Friday night led to a dramatic showdown between the officials of Railways and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department on Saturday.

When the Tamil Nadu Forest officials detained the two loco pilots of the Mangalore-Chennai Mail which had hit the elephant herd, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) here rounded up a Tamil Nadu Forest Department team that had reached Palakkad Junction Railway Station to investigate the elephant deaths.

A four-member Tamil Nadu Forest team led by senior officer Ramasubramaniam had reached the accident spot near Walayar and taken possession of the loco engine’s electronic chip that could help find the speed of the train when it mowed down the elephants. The forest officials had accused the Railways of high speed as a reason for the tragedy.

In a tit-for-tat action, the RPF detained the forest officials at the Palakkad Junction railway station when the team reached there for decoding the loco engine’s electronic chip. The Railway officials found that the forest team had illegally taken possession of the loco chip.

The face-off led to discussions between higher officials of the Railway and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The forest officials were forced to surrender the loco engine chip they illegally collected and also to let go of the two loco pilots they detained in Tamil Nadu before the RPF released them.

Railway officials, meanwhile, denied the claim of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department that the train was going at a high speed at the time of the accident. They said the train was going below 45 km per hour.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 6:34:19 AM |

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