|Brace for more jumbo deaths on tracks
TIMES OF INDIA
Sep 6, 2015
A stretch of railway tracks that cuts through a protected area in North
Bengal and sees an average of five elephant deaths every year due to
train accidents will now see a sharp rise in traffic, increasing the
risk to the jumbos.
The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL),
under the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), has given its nod
to the proposed extension of the broad gauge line from Sevoke near
Siliguri to Sikkim's Rangpo that will pass through Mahananda Wildlife
Sanctuary and several other key elephant habitats.
rail link from New Jalpaiguri to Sevoke, which passes through a part of
Mahananda, had earlier seen several elephant deaths. As many as 55
elephants were run over by trains between Alipurduar and Siliguri
between 2004 and 2015. The latest death was reported on May 7, when a
male jumbo was run over by the Intercity Express near Madarihat station.
a meeting on June 24, the NBWL standing committee cleared the proposal
for diversion of 86.6255 hectares (18.604 ha under Darjeeling forest
division, 12.3436 ha under Kurseong forest division, 8.8489 ha under
Wildlife I division and 46.829 ha under Kalimpong forest division) of
forest land in favour of the North-Frontier Railway, Jalpaiguri for
construction of the Sevoke-Rangpo new broad gauge railway line. The
members asked the railways to start work right away.