Track not on identified elephant corridor: Railways

Expressing shock over the killing of seven elephants by a speeding goods train in West Bengal, Railways today said the section through which they were crossing the tracks was not among the identified elephant corridors.

New Delhi: Expressing shock over the
killing of seven elephants by a speeding goods train in
Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal, Railways today said the
section through which they were crossing the tracks was not
among the identified elephant corridors.

The incident took place at about 10.56 pm yesterday and
there was no advisory from the forest department as per rule.
Railways could have done little to prevent the mishap, senior
railway officials said here today.
The seven elephants were killed while crossing the
railway tracks between Banarhat-Binnaguri in Alipurduar-
Siliguri section under Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

"This corridor through which they were passing was not
one of the identified elephant corridors where speed
restrictions are in place," officials said.

"This was a big herd and had there been any advisories,
loco pilots could have exercised caution," they added.

The Forest Department has lodged an FIR under the
Wildlife Protection Act against the Railways alleging that the
train was running at about 70 kmph, violating the speed
restriction of 25 kmph to 40 kmph in the area.
Alipurduar Divisional Railway Manager Sachhidanand Sinha
has said the question of speed restriction did not arise since
the train was not passing through the elephant corridor.

The tragedy comes in the backdrop of Railways last
month presenting a Rs seven crore proposal to the West Bengal
Government for protecting the corridors and preventing
elephant deaths.

The proposal include fencing along the tracks,
constructing elephant underpass, making wider passes and
uniform slopes for the free movement of the pachyderms.

PTI

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