Rs 100 crore project to stop elephant deaths (Palakkad, India)


Times of India

Date Published

The former director of Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and an expert on wild elephants Dr P S Easa said that the forest department has taken up a project worth Rs 100 crore to protect elephant corridors to prevent elephants from entering into agriculture areas and human habitant. The project also aims to protect the farmers living in the fringes of the forest.

The railway and forest departments are planning to fence both the sides of the railway tracks using old rails.

He said the scheme is being financed by Kerala Infrastructure Development Corporation.

He said in Walayar forest where the wild elephants are killed due to train hit is being studied by an expert team as part of implementing this project.

“In Walayar the problem is that the railway lines pass through the forests frequented by wild elephants. Many measures to keep the jumbos off the track had failed,” said Dr Easa.

The railway track along the 20 kms from Walayar to Madukarai is infested by wild elephants. They cross to the human habitation for crop raid or in search of drinking water. The measures like reducing the speed of the train also did not work it seems, he said.

Meanwhile, S Guruvayurappan, project officer and south Indian co-ordinator of the Wild Life Protection Society of India said that the Walayar forests have become a death trap for wild elephants and 11 wild elephants died during the last five years in the area due to train hit. But stopping the elephant pass seems to be the main problem. So under-pass or flyover in such locations should be constructed, Guruvayurappansaid.