Apr 13, 2016
Pilibhit: To protect wild animals from falling prey to train mishaps, the world wide fund for nature (WWF) India is chalking out a joint strategy in coordination with North-East Railways. A joint survey team of WWF and NE railway visited the forest belt of Mala range in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve area on Monday to explore the possible measures of wildlife safety. Meter-gauge railway line in the area is being converted to broad-gauge on Pilibhit-Lucknow route via Pilibhit. Around eight kms of Mala Forest Range and 12 kms of Mailani and Gola forest areas of Lakhimpur Kheeri district fall in the route. Apart from this, a stretch of nearly 45 km falls in Dudhva National Park’s territory. This entire forest area has considerable number of tigers and other wild species. Population of 60 to 70 elephants has been reported in Dudhva also.The WWF coordinator of Pilibhit and Lakhimpur region Mudit Gupta told TOI that several cases of animal deaths due to train accidents has been reported in the region earlier.
“The WWF has, therefore, decided to deal with this killing traps. With a view to achieve a considerable level of wildlife protection from such accidents, the coordination of railways is essential,” he said. Gupta said that a joint team of WWF Pilibhit and the NE railways has started a field survey in Mala Forest Range of PTR from Monday to identify the spots of maximum wildlife movement. The WWF team is headed by project officer Naresh Lodhi while the assistant section engineer of NE railways Devendra Kumar has been deputed to represent railway department. Gupta said that due to the broad-gauge conversion work, the bridges and the culverts on railway tracks within the forest belt will also be altered by the railways. He said that the joint team will also discuss to place caution boards along the railway tracks and a consensus will be derived on the norms of trains’ speed as well as blowing horn within the wild. He said that the loco pilots will be provided with comprehensive knowledge about the behavioural characteristics of wildlife so that they might regulate the speed of train accordingly. Gupta said that the reason of starting joint survey this time is that the gauge conversion work of railway is in progress and at this stage it will be quite easy to take mutual decisions in the interest of wildlife and to execute them without any barrier.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com