Dehradun, January 15
There seems to be no solution in sight on the killer railway track running through the 18 km stretch of the Rajaji National Park in the state. Nothing concrete could come up at the meeting presided over by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna except the decision to install infrared cameras. The other two suggestions of installing iron fences at blind curves and clearing bushes from 50m on the either side of tracks do not hold much ground. The Rajaji park authorities have been resorting to fencing techniques for long but these fences have failed to solve the purpose.

Taking into account the gruesome death of two female elephants that were killed early Sunday morning at the Rajaji National Park, the Chief Minister convened a meeting of officials of the state Forest Department, the park and the Railways, deliberating on the measures needed to be undertaken to ensure that no more elephant casualties take place.
Chief Minister Bahuguna issued directives to install infrared cameras to track elephant movement at the Rajaji for timely transmission of information. He also directed the officials to put fencing of iron guarders at blind curves and other vulnerable places. He asked the Railways to provide the scrap to Forest Department for fencing purpose. He also instructed to clear lantana and other bushes from 50m of area on either side of the tracks so that the tracks were clearly visible to the drivers. He also laid emphasis on improving communication network between the Forest Department and Railways.
The Railways, on its part, assured to issue five wireless sets to the Forest Department to get rid of frequency mismatch normally experienced during communication of elephant movements. Bahuguna also directed to organise counselling session for drivers so as to sensitise them towards wildlife and make them aware of rules and guidance.
Meanwhile, Railways officials raised the issue of lodging of FIRs against drivers. Bahuguna said the advocate general would be asked to examine the matter. He asked the officials to place proposal of double lining the tracks between Haridwar and Dehradun and electrification along with other proposals regarding the extension of the Kansro, Motichur and Raiwala station yards in the meeting of the State Wildlife Board. When informed that the Uttar Pradesh Government had not so far acquired land for the alternative route for Shatabdi Train between Delhi and Dehradun to reduce the travel time, Bahuguna said he would personally discuss the matter with the UP Chief Minister.
Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain, Principal Secretary DK Kotia, Chief Forest Conservator RBS Rawat and Chief Engineer, Northern Railways, Lalit Kapoor, attended the meeting.
  • Installation of infrared cameras to track elephant movement
  • Iron guarders fencing at blind curves at vulnerable places
  • Clearing of bushes from the either side of the track
  • Improvement in communication network between the Forest Department and the Railways

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