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PERMANENT BODY TO PREVENT ELEPHANT DEATHS ON RAILWAY TRACKS

Context

To minimise elephant deaths on railway lines, the Union Environment Ministry has established a permanent coordination group that includes the Ministry of Railways.

Key Points

  • 19 elephants were killed on railway tracks in 2018-19.
  • 14 elephants were slaughtered in 2019-20, and 12 elephants will be slain in 2020-21.
  • To limit the number of elephants killed by railway tracks, several procedures have been implemented.
  • According to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, railway crashes were the second-leading cause of elephant fatalities unnaturally.

Steps for prevention

  • Temporary and permanent speed restrictions have been imposed in areas identified as elephant habitats, corridors, and habitats; 
  • Ramps and underpasses have also been built for the easy movement of elephants; fencing has been provided at selected locations; 
  • Signage has been erected to warn train drivers about elephant corridors; 
  • Station managers and crews have been sensitised, so that train collisions with elephants are avoided; and 
  • Vegetation has been planted in areas identified as elephant habitats, corridors, and habitats.

Document Published

  • The Wildlife Institute of India, which is part of the Ministry of Environment, has released a document titled 'Eco-Friendly Measures to Mitigate Impacts of Linear Infrastructure,' intending to support various agencies in building infrastructure that will lessen animal-human conflicts. 
  • The National Highway Authority, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change, the World Bank Group, and the National Tiger Conservation Authority collaborated on this publication.

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