Elephants Run Over By Train: Centre Seeks Report

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New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday sought a detailed report into the incident in which three elephants were run over by a train in South-Eastern Railway’s Bankura-Howrah section of West Bengal.

Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave has asked authorities to ascertain the exact reasons behind the accident and also directed state forest department to put in place appropriate measures for the conservation of elephants after discussing the issue with railways. “The Minister has sought a detailed report on the train accident in Bishnupur area of West Bengal yesterday, in which three elephants were killed. Dave has asked all local authorities concerned to ascertain the exact reasons behind the train accident.

“The Environment Minister has also directed State Forest Department officials to discuss the issue with Railway authorities and put in place appropriate measures for the conservation of elephants,” an official statement said. Two elephant calves and their mother were knocked down by the Kharagpur-Adra Passenger at around 7:30 PM yesterday.

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The train moved on but the jumbos’ mutilated carcasses spread across the tracks between Bisnupur in Bankura and Piyardoba in West Midnapore for over two hours disrupted train movement in the section. The Ministry said that it has initiated steps to prepare a ‘Regional Landscape Plan’ for conservation of elephants in the East Central Elephant Landscape, comprising West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and other elephant areas.

The West Bengal forest department has also prepared a three-year action plan for controlling human-elephant conflict in South Bengal. The state forest department will send SMS alerts to railway authorities on movement of elephants near railway tracks to prevent accidents, the statement said.

State forest department officials are scheduled to hold a a meeting with railway authorities today, following yesterday’s train accident in Bishnpur area of West Bengal. According to reports, the pachyderm family was crossing the track, skirted by dense forest on both sides, when the mishap occurred yesterday.