On September 27, 2020 a tragic incident of an elephant dashing against a locomotive occurred in Lumding Division of Northeast Frontier Railway.
Speed restriction was in place at the location. NFR conducted an enquiry of its own and has initiated action against the defaulters.
During the course of an independent enquiry by Forest Department of Assam, a team of Forest officials served a seizure memo, inspected and subsequently released the locomotive involved in the incident at New Guwahati Loco Shed on Octovber 20,2020.
NFR has clarified that such an incident was not a first of its kind incident but a procedural requirement for enquiry. There was no operational obstruction and the locomotive is currently in use of Indian Railways.
NFR further clarified,it had taken several steps to protect wild life in its jurisdiction,.
These included imposing speed restrictions and providing ramps at identified locations, implementing Plan Bee for elephants besides maintaining regular interaction with the Forest Department.
As a result 268 wild elephants were saved during 2019 and 61 elephants have been saved in 2020 until September. Only one incident of elephant dashing has occurred during current financial year in NFR, the statement said.
Elephant corridors on NFR
NFR has 67 notified elephant corridors. These corridors are notified jointly in consultation with the forest department of the respective state. The break-up in the five divisions of NFR are Katihar-1, Alipurduar-22, Rangiya-23, Lumding-16 and Tinsukia-5.The incidents of elephants crossing railway track are more common in Alipurduar division and to some extent in Lumding and Rangiya divisions of NFR.