Uttarakhand: Railways And State Forest Department Scale Up Efforts Towards Elephant Protection – Swarajya

The state has reported several accidents in the past where elephants have lost their lives to speeding trains.
In an effort to protect wildlife, particularly elephants, the Indian Railways has taken a bold step in Uttarakhand. Schedule of trains coming to Uttarakhand will be changed and a new schedule will be executed from 1 October. In addition to this, the trains will be running at reduced speed when they enter Uttarakhand and the Kumaon region of the state, the IBN website has reported.
The state has reported several accidents in the past where elephants have lost their lives to speeding trains. Wild animals crossing the tracks is a normal sight in Uttarakhand and train animal collisions have been a cause of worry for wildlife experts.
Experts working towards the protection of wildlife suggest that controlling the speed of trains will help in reducing accidents on tracks. The step comes when the Uttarakhand Forest department has started an ambitious Rs 39 crore man-wildlife conflict mitigation project in the state. The state forest department will roll out measures in the Himalayan state under the project, reports say.
Under the project, fencing will be done and 1,393 km elephant-proof trenches will be built in elephant-frequented areas in the state. The fencing and trenches will help by acting as barriers and reduce the chances of man-animal conflict by preventing them from entering residential areas.
This report says: “Principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Rajiv Bhartari said the ministry of environment, forests and climate change has provided Rs 39.7 crore under CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) fund to the state forest department for man-wildlife conflict mitigation.”
Developing village protection force and the strengthening of voluntary village wildlife protection force are the other areas the project will address. It is the first time that the range of the steps towards mitigation have been increased in the state.
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