Elephant deaths in train accidents: Sensitive points across 1,800 km of
railway tracks identified (India)
The Press Trust of India
September 18, 2022
In an effort to reduce elephant deaths in train accidents, the Union
Environment Ministry has identified sensitive points along 1,800 kilometers
of railway tracks across the country where the probability of such
incidents is high.
On a trial basis, the geo-coordinates of around 15 to 20 sensitive points
have been shared with the railways which will take preventive measures at
these locations, an official said on condition of anonymity.
The measures could include simple interventions such as construction of
ramps to facilitate movement of wild elephants across railway tracks.
''The reasons for most accidents include stones along the tracks and steep
embankments on either side which make it difficult for young elephants to
walk. Many times, they are left behind and the adults get run over while
trying to save them,'' an official said.
''Mud ramps will be built at these 15-20 sensitive points on a trial
basis,'' he said.
The railways has also been asked to clear the vegetation, if any,
obstructing the view of the railway tracks, especially at bends, at such
sensitive locations,'' the official said.
According to the ministry's data shared in Parliament in July, 45 elephants
have died in train accidents in the last three years, including 12 in
Odisha and 11 in West Bengal.
The ministry is also revisiting 88 elephant corridors in the country to
ascertain whether these are ''active or have become dysfunctional and if
any new corridor has been created''.
The corridors could also be notified to give legal protection to the
movement of elephants.
An elephant corridor is a stretch of forested (or otherwise) land that
connects larger elephant habitats and serves as a conduit for animal
There are 20 corridors in south India, 12 in north western India, 20 in
central India, 14 in northern West Bengal and 22 in north-eastern India.
Elephants regularly use 77.3 percent of the total corridors.