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News Entry# 288452
  
Dec 13 2016 (08:02)  Railways announces measures to prevent jumbo deaths (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestNFR/Northeast Frontier  -  

News Entry# 288452     
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Posted by: rdb*^  130034 news posts
GUWAHATI: The railways will exercise extra caution to prevent the death of jumbos in the elephant corridors after a series of tragic incidents of elephant deaths occurred in Assam, Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain said on Monday.
"Speeding trains can't be stopped suddenly if elephants come in front of the train. Railway officials have, therefore, been instructed to reduce train speeds to 30 km per hour when crossing elephant corridors. Railways will put in all efforts to prevent elephant deaths on the rail tracks," Gohain said.
Recently, three elephants -
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two of whom were pregnant - were mowed down by a train at Jugijan in central Assam's Nagaon district. Two days later, another elephant was found dead near railway tracks in Goalpara district. More than 10 elephants have died in the state since November, the primary cause of which has been man-elephant conflict.
State forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma held a review meeting with senior officials of the state forest department and the railways a few days ago after the tragic train accident killing pregnant elephants caused serious concern among conservationists.
Usually, the railways runs trains at restricted speeds of 30 to 50 km per hour in the elephant corridors, but even after being cautious, the trains had knocked down elephants in some of the elephant corridors adjoining the hills in the last few years.
Sources in the railways said the state forest department has to provide the railways a new list of locations through which elephants are crossing over often. As per records, there are 29 locations across the northeast where there are restrictions on train speed limits following an advisory by state governments in the northeast, but there are many more locations in which elephants are crossing rail tracks.
"In Assam, we are facing a new challenge in preventing jumbo deaths as the elephant herds are crossing railway tracks in different locations which are not earmarked as vulnerable in the state forest department's advisory list. Some of the recent train accidents involving jumbos occurred in Assam at those locations which are not mentioned as vulnerable by the state forest department. A concerted effort is required to tackle the jumbo death issue, which is becoming serious with growing human-elephant conflict," said a senior railways official.
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