Strict action will be taken against train drivers in case of animal fatalities on tracks: Forest min (Dehradun, India)


Seema Sharma, Times of India

Date Published


In order to prevent further instances of animals dying on rail tracks, forest minister Dinesh Aggarwal has directed the railway and forest officials to visit the railway track in Rajaji Tiger Reserve (where a tusker was crushed by a train a few days ago) and come up with measures to stop further mortalities.

Aggarwal said train drivers will have to maintain low speed on the designated track otherwise stringent action will be taken against them. “Both the teams will visit the railway track and will prepare the modalities to control the casualties. The railway will also give the speed chart of the various trains which run on this track.”

Suggesting a long term solution for this problem, Rajaji Tiger Reserve director Sanatan Sonkar said the vegetation around the entire track should be cleared so that the animal movement can easily be seen from a distance.

He said an overpass can also be created to ensure smooth movement of animals.

Reecently, a 20-year-old tusker was killed after being hit by a train near Raiwala in Motichur range of Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

According to eyewitnesses, two elephants were trying to cross the railway track around six in the morning. While one managed to get to the other side, the second tusker was hit by the train and injured on the hind legs and spinal cord. Since no one was there to rescue the jumbo immediately, it soon succumbed to injuries.

In mid-September, a 40-year-old tusker was killed on tracks between Ramnagar and Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district. Last year in February, a young tusker came in contact with a 33 KV high-tension wire hanging low in the Dugada range of Lansdowne forest division and was electrocuted.

After witnessing 20 elephant deaths on railway tracks passing through Rajaji from 1987-2001, authorities had imposed stringent measures, which resulted in zero mortality from 2002-2012. But in 2013, a female elephant was hit on train tracks.