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Sapt Kranti Express: Ruling the tracks with EMD Power - Keshav Singh

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Blog Entry# 4115829
Posted: Dec 17 2018 (15:47)

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SWR/South Western
Dec 17 2018 (15:46)   Forest department asks railways to act on animal deaths, construct overpasses for jumbos

Jayashree ❖ Amita*^   44331 news posts
Entry# 4115829   News Entry# 371729         Tags   Past Edits
BENGALURU: With elephants and gaurs getting run over every now and then by speeding trains on rail tracks passing through forest areas of Karnataka, the Forest Department has asked the South Western Railways (SWR) to strictly impose speed restrictions and provide overpasses at identified sections for safe passage of wildlife. 
But according to wildlife activists, the legal route is the only option now for implementation of these measures, as SWR has failed to take any action before. 
In Sakleshpur, one more tusker fell victim to speed and a lack of mitigation measures on rail
tracks last Monday. Now, the death toll has jumped to five elephants, 15 gaurs, a sloth bear and a leopard in Belagavi, Hassan, Uttara Kannada and Mangaluru.
According to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), railway authorities have stated that speed restrictions have been imposed to the extent possible on trains passing through forested areas as advised by wildlife authorities of the state. However, wildlife deaths continue at Alanavar Castle Rock and Londa-Khanapur sections. In this background, the PCCF has requested the general manager, SWR, Hubballi, to instruct the railway officials concerned to restrict the speed of trains passing through wildlife areas. 
Wildlife activist Giridhar Kulkarni said the SWR has failed to take any action before. “We are regularly seeing deaths of elephants and gaurs now. The only alternative left is to take legal action. In fact, contempt of court should be initiated against both the loco pilots and the railway division concerned for failing to adhere to SC orders and also the guidelines laid down by Railways to protect wildlife.” Further, in a letter to the Principal Chief Engineer, SWR, Works Branch, Hubballi, the PCCF has said, ‘animal overpasses’ need to be provided at identified elephant crossings along with railway barricades on either side of the overpasses for at least 2 km so that elephants are diverted to the overpasses. 
In this regard, he has directed the Chief Conservator of Forests, territorial circles Belagavi and Sirsi, and Deputy Conservator of Forests, territorial division Belagavi and Haliyal, to identify frequent elephant crossings and intimate their GPS readings to the Railways, and pursue with them to implement these safety measures.

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