In the accident which occurred near Jamalpur Sitapur railway crossing on Friday when the Nanda Devi Express fatally hit two elephants, the forest department has lodged a case against the locomotive pilot responsible. Also, a probe is underway to ascertain the speed of the train Nanda Devi Express when it hit the two elephants. Meanwhile, the patrolling by forest officials has been increased in the area for the safety of the people residing in the area.
It will be recalled that early on Friday morning at about 4 AM, the Nanda Devi Express train hit two elephants who were reportedly in the act of crossing the railway track while coming from Chilla range of Rajaji National Park and Tiger Reserve. Both the pachyderms had died on the spot. While railway officials had reportedly not taken cognisance of any responsibility of the railway department but forest officials have lodged case against the locomotive pilot of the train.
Speaking to The Pioneer, the range officer of Haridwar forest division, Dinesh Naudiyal said, “Though there is no speed limit defined for the train in the said area but still we are inquiring about the speed of the train which had hit the elephants leading to the death of the elephants. A case has been case has been lodged against the the locomotive pilot of the train.”
Naudiyal also informed that 10 teams of forest guards have been formed to conduct intense patrolling in the areas of Bishanpur Kundi, Saharanpur, Pathri, Laksar and Jagjeetpur among other areas. The forest department has also demanded more equipment and high light intensity crackers to scare away the elephants from the residential areas. Every possible measure shall be taken for safety of the wildlife as well as the human resources but at the same time cooperation from the people is also solicited, added the forest range officer.
It is pertinent to mention here that a 28-kilometre long railway track passes through the Haridwar -Motichur-Kansro range of Rajaji which is proving to be a fatal threat for the pachyderms. About 31 elephants have reportedly been killed after being hit by trains on the track during a period of more than three decades since the creation of this national park. It now remains to be seen whether the authorities will be able to put in place effective measures to prevent further such wildlife fatalities on the railway tracks.