Forty-five elephants were killed on the railway tracks between 2018 and 2021, the government told the Lok Sabha on Monday.
In a written reply to a question, Union Minister for Environment and Forest Bhupender Yadav said 19 elephants were killed on the railway tracks after getting hit by trains in 2018-19, 14 in 2019-20 and 12 in 2020-21.
In 2018-19, as many as seven elephants were killed in such incidents in Odisha, six in West Bengal, two each in Karnataka and Assam, and one each in Kerala and Uttarakhand, according to the year-wise data tabled by the minister in the Lower House.
Five elephants were killed on the railway tracks in West Bengal in 2019-20, three in Kerala, two each in Uttarakhand and Assam, and one each in Odisha and Jharkhand.
In 2020-21, a total of five elephants were killed on the railway tracks in Assam, four in Odisha, and one each in Karnataka, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu, according to the minister’s reply.
To prevent the death of elephants in such incidents, Yadav stated that “a number of measures” have been taken by his ministry in coordination with the Railways Ministry.
A host of preventive measures, listed by the minister in his reply, included the imposition of permanent and temporary speed restrictions in identified elephant corridors and habitats; construction of underpasses and ramps for the movement of elephants at identified locations; provision of fencing at selected locations, signage boards to warn loco pilots; and sensitization of train crew and station masters.