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News Entry# 288988
Dec 18 2016 (13:01)  Train knocks down 3 jumbos in Assam (
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Crime/AccidentsNFR/Northeast Frontier  -  

News Entry# 288988     
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According to locals, the incident occurred at the Potiyapam area of Kampur when an elephant herd was crossing the rail tracks at 5am. The light engine was damaged and had to be moved by a relief engine. The track has now been cleared for the movement of trains.
The debate, however, seems to have shifted to who the responsibility for the incident lies with.
State forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma laid the blame on railways after two similar incidents in Nagaon this month caused serious concern among conservationists. She has directed the forest
department to lodge an FIR against the railways.
"It is very unfortunate. A few days ago, I had spoken to forest and railway officials about preventing train accidents involving elephants. But today, another tragic incident took place because of carelessness on the part of the railways. This happened only because the railways did not take necessary follow-up action," Brahma said.
The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR), on the other hand, said the incident occurred at a place which has not been marked as a notified elephant corridor by the state forest department.
"In fact, the spot is 13 km away from the area where caution has been advised by the forest department," a statement issued by NFR said.
Trains usually run at restricted speeds of 30 to 50 km per hour in elephant corridors. Brahma has urged the railways to reduce speeds to 15 km per hour in vulnerable areas.
Railways officials, however, say they are yet to be notified of the locations where elephant corridors and rail tracks intersect, which they say is the reason behind the spate of such incidents in the past month.
"The issue is being monitored at the highest level by the forest department and the railways," chief public relations officer of NFR Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.
More than 13 elephants have died in the state since November.
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