Plan to use Google Earth to save jumbos
The Government on Friday said it would examine the Google Earth technology to keep elephants safe from train and vehicular accidents after Opposition MPs in the Lok Sabha raised the issue of their unauthorised use, cruelty against them and their illegal supply for tourism and religious purposes.
While Opposition members during the question hour pointed out to their unnatural deaths in the elephant corridors and sought better safety mechanism, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Mahesh Sharma said the Government was committed to their safety and would rope in the help of the Railway Ministry to avoid accidents.
He said the Government has created elephant buffer zones to keep them safe but railway accidents, electrocution and poisoning by human beings were the reasons for the deaths of the pachyderms. He said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had formed a group to provide safe corridors to the animals and Government may be considering a proposal to even shift human population from elephant corridors in consultation with the State Governments.
Dinesh Trivedi (TMC) said it is not the jumbos but human beings who have encroached upon the former’s territory and there was a need to protect and save environment and animals as prescribed by the ancient Vedic texts.
A suggestion was given that the Government may use Google Earth to ensure safety of elephants while they cross the zones around railway lines.
Railway Minster Piyush Goyal who was present in the house said Railways has demarcated zones where trains slow down which often turns source of complaint from passengers. Besides, he said boundary wall and light electrocution was also experimented to separate Elephants from the railway lines. Goyal said use of Google Earth was a very good suggestion and it will be examined . “I will try it,” he said. Shashi Tharoor (Congress), MP from Kerala, raised the issue of illegal captivity, domestication and their misuse for tourism and religious purposes.
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