15-member team to save jumbos from train hits in district (Coimbatore)
Times of India
May 18, 2023
At least 11 wild elephants have been killed in train hits at Madukkarai
forest range in Coimbatore forest division since January 2008.
The forest department has deployed a 15-member team to closely monitor the
movement of wild elephants along the railway tracks during the day and at
night. It has also created a WhatsApp group with Kerala forest department
officials and Palakkad railway division officials as its members to share
information on elephant movement near the railway tracks.
According to a forest officer, a watchtower cum anti-poaching watchers camp
shed was earlier constructed near the B-line track between Coimbatore and
Palakkad to monitor the wild elephant movement.
Now, the forest department is constructing another watchtower cum
anti-poaching shed near the B-line track, where wild elephant movement is
frequent. Another anti-poaching shed is coming up near the A-line track.
These sheds are being constructed under a Nabard scheme. The state
government has sanctioned Rs10 lakh each for the projects.
K Rajamani, 53, a resident of Chinnampathy tribal settlement, who has been
working as an anti-poaching watcher since 2006, said she was incharge of
night patrol along the A-line railway track along with C Sivasamy, 40, of
Iyyampathi tribal settlement, who was appointed a forest watcher a month
“One night we noticed a herd of elephants walking along the track. When
they were about to cross the track, we drove them away into the adjacent
reserve forest. Thus, we saved more than 10 wild elephants from train
hits,” Rajamani said.