Jharsuguda : Four elephants including two calve were killed after a train hit them near Telidihi village under Bagedihi forest range under Jharsuguda district on the wee hours of Monday.
According to reports, when the herd comprising two adult elephants and two calves were crossing over the tracks in the wee hours in between 3 a.m. – 4am today near Telidihi railway level crossing, they were hit by a Howrah-Mumbai Mail train between the 496/17 and 496/19 kilometre poll on the railway line, leading to the death of the four animals on the spot.
On getting information, forest officials rushed to the spot and initiated a rescue operation. “Since, it is an elephant corridor; we had earlier moved to the Railways and asked them to keep the train on limited speed in that area. However, we will inquire under which circumstances the accident took place,” said Assistant Conservator of Forest, Pradip Kumar Dhal. The autopsy of the body will be conducted today.
“We have received information after the engine driver of train No. 12810 Howrah – Mumbai Mail had informed that his train hit the Elephants at Dhutra Railway Station. Due to which movement of trains were hampered on Howrah – Mumbai Line for 3 hours. And resumed the train service from after 7.25a.m.” said Jharsuguda Station Manager Tikanath Naik
” The elephants were hit by Howrah-Mumbai mail Train itself. However, we have received a memo from the Forest Officials on last 16th Nov 2017, where it has been only mentioned to Blow long Whistle and to Sharp Look out only and no speed restriction were mentioned.” said Nilamadhav Sahoo, Chief Transportation Inspector,Jharsuguda
Last year, at the same spot total three elephants including two calves had lost their lives in two different incidents. Two elephant calves died after falling inside a trench, dugged near the railway line for laying of cables and another elephant died after coming in contact with 33KV electric line present while crossing the area at night.
“Including this, total seven elephants have lost life at this spot in separate incidents. In this regard even a strike was held long back when the forest officials said that they will install solar fencing to prevent the movement of elephants but till now nothing has happened” said Tejraj Sahu, Chairman Kirmira Block
“One of the solution to avoid such accidents is to built under or over pass for the easy movement of Jumbos whichever is feasible. Additionally, the co-ordination between of Forest and Railway departments in these elephant prone areas and take timely action and issue advisory to reduce the speed of the train movement.” said Rudra Prasanna Mohapatra, State facilitator, Wild Life Trust of India