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News Entry# 288966
  
Dec 18 2016 (10:56)  Hit by speeding train engine, 3 elephants die (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestNFR/Northeast Frontier  -  

News Entry# 288966     
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Posted by: rdb*^  130904 news posts
Three elephants were killed after a speeding train engine rammed them in Assam’s Nagaon district on Saturday following which the Forest Department was directed to file an FIR against the Railways.
The engine hit the elephants, including a pregnant one, who were crossing tracks in Potiyapam area of Kampur, killing two of them on the spot. The third jumbo succumbed to its injuries later, a district administration official said.
Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma directed the Forest Department to file an FIR against the Railways alleging that they have failed to take the
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issue of elephants crossing train tracks seriously.
“Strong action will be taken against the Railways as they have not taken the issue seriously. I have ordered an inquiry into the incident and directed the Forest Department to lodge an FIR,” she said.
The Forest Minister also directed the Railways to limit speed of trains to 15 km/hour.
Train services were affected following the incident as Dibrugarh-Delhi Rajdhani Express, Dibrugarh-Bangalore Express, Dibrugarh-Howrah Kamrup Express and Delhi-Dibrugarh Brahmaputra Mail were halted at several places. The trains resumed their journeys after the tracks were cleared, a North East Frontier Railway spokesman said.
“The Railways maintains speed restrictions of 40 km/hour in areas earmarked as elephant corridors but this particular area between Jamunamukh and Kampur railway stations is not earmarked as a notified elephant corridor by the Forest Department,” the spokesman added.
The issue is being monitored at the highest level by the Forest Department and the Railways, and coordinating mechanisms have been in place, he said.
Forest Department and wildlife NGOs have been asked to provide details of movement of elephant herds and in addition to lowering of speed limit of trains from sunset to sunrise, Railways staff were also being sensitised, the spokesman added.
Eleven elephants have been killed by trains during the month with seven in the same district, others in neighbouring Karbi Anglong and one in Bongaigaon district. - PTI
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