Responding to a query on death of animals due to train accidents, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said movement of wild animals in search of food and water brings them in close proximity to railway lines, leading to accidental deaths.
According to the data provided by the minister, 60 elephants, eight tigers and one lion were killed in train accidents between 2016 and 2018-19.
"Rail tracks do pass through forest areas also. Movement of wild animals in search of food and water, brings them in very close proximity to railway lines and at times, leads to accidental deaths.
"The state/Union territories'' Forest Departments manage the forest and wildlife habitats with cooperation of other sectors," Javadekar told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
The ministry said it has no plan to remove railway tracks from forest areas but several measures have been taken to track animal movement around railway track, especially that of lion.
"Adequate number of trackers have been deployed for day-night patrolling to watch lion movement along railway tracks.
"Regular and extensive patrolling by frontline field staff of the State Forest Departments is done so that wild animals can be retained in their habitat," it said.
The environment ministry said that standard operating procedure (SOP) has been issued to manage tigers dispersing in human-dominated landscapes to safeguard humans as well as the big cats.
"Elephant-proof solar electric fence has been established in states such as Odisha to avoid elephant deaths due to trains," it said.
Out of the 60 elephants that died in the last three years, 19 died in 2018-19, 20 in 2017-18 and 21 in 2016-17.
The state with the highest number of elephant deaths due to trains in the three years is Assam where 22 of them were killed. PTI AG AG NSD NSD
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI