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News Entry# 289046
Dec 19 2016 (03:34)  Sonowal meets railway authorities over elephants death issue (
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NFR/Northeast Frontier  -  

News Entry# 289046     
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Guwahati, Dec 18: Expressing deep concern over high number of elephant deaths due to mowing down by speeding train in recent days in the state, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today directed the State Forest Department and Northeast Frontier Railway to improve communication and coordination to control such incidents in a meeting.
The chief minister advocated for devising a strategy to tackle rising number of such incidents and favoured joint monitoring of railway tracks on daily basis.
He also instructed the Forest Department to adopt an aggressive approach.
a view to share real time information from the ground to Railway Control Room, the chief minister directed to immediately constitute local level Monitoring Committee involving the people living in adjoining areas of the track.
The members of the committees will inform the Railway Control Room whenever movement of elephant is noticed so that same can be passed on to train drivers for controlling the speed.
The local level monitoring committees will be constituted in all the 29 elephant corridors falling within railway tracks.
For improved communication, the Railway Control Rooms will be manned by both Forest and Railway personnel.
A joint co-ordination committee involving the Forest Department and the Railways under the leadership of respective Sub-Divisional Officers and Circle Officers will also be constituted for monitoring the joint activities of the Forest Department and Railways such as joint survey of railway track, cleaning of jungles, streamlining of slopes near tracks, installation of signages at vulnerable points with emergency contact number etc.
The chief minister also directed the Forest and railway officials to travel all the vulnerable Railway tracks immediately so that all future casualties can be stopped.
Underlining the need for a long-time strategy to stop all such incidents in future, the chief minister said the Forest Department has to improve their communication network and adopt new technologies.
He instructed the Department to implement Advance Warning System, Solar lights with alarms at vulnerable railway tracks, use of remote sensor and GPS indicator insertion at leaders of elephant herds to locate their movement etc.
Mr Sonowal also stressed on the need to study the psychology of elephants by the Forest Department and construction of need based Over Pass and Under Pass at Railway Tracks by the Railways.
Urging the Forest and railway officials to be more sensitive to the well-being of animals, the chief minister directed to immediately conduct sensitization meeting of Train drivers and higher officials of railways.
It was agreed that a sensitisation meeting of the Train Drivers will be held at Lumding soon where Forest officials will apprise the drivers about elephant behaviour and the precautionary measures required to be taken.
The chief minister also said that he had already discussed the issue of mowing down of elephants by trains with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who assured him to extend all possible help in improving the situation.
The Forest Department and Railway officials also apprised the chief minister about various measures which have been adapted so far to improve the situation and vowed to work more cohesively in future.
As per Forest Depart Report, so far 16 elephants were mowed down by speeding train while only four such incidents were reported in 2015.
DGP Mukesh Sahay, Additional Chief Secretary TY Das, Principal Secretary (Forest) Paban Borthakur, NF Railway General Manager Chahatey Ram and several higher officials of the State Government were present in the meeting.
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