Intrusion detection system along railway tracks in Odisha to avert elephant collision

Environment Odisha

Bhubaneswar, August 12: With the largest population of wild Asian elephants, India is the mainstay for long-term conservation of the species, said Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav here on Saturday.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion of World elephant day in Bhubaneswar, the Union Minister highlighted the concerted efforts taken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of Railways, the State Forest Departments, and the National Institutions like the Wildlife Institute of India to address the critical issue of Railway-related elephant collisions.

“As part of these efforts, about 110 critical stretches across the Railway network in the country that pass through elephant habitats have been identified. In these critical stretches, multipronged strategies are planned to minimise Railway-related elephant collisions,” said MinisterYadav.

He said in these locations measures such as building underpasses, clearing vegetation along the tracks to increase visibility for the loco pilots to avoid collisions, provisioning ramps, and others will also be taken up.

The Minister mentioned that the Ministry of Railways is contemplating to replicate the technology based intrusion detection system along the tracks in Odisha and other States in the country.

Shri Yadav highlighted the novel initiative taken by the Ministry to map genotype of all captive elephants in the country to prevent illegal trafficking of elephants.

The Minister said that for the first time ever, the Ministry has embarked on carrying out management effectiveness and evaluation of the Elephant Reserves across the country.

He said four elephant reserves across the four elephant bearing regions of the country have been identified for piloting the process of management effectiveness evaluation for the Elephant Reserves.

He further informed that the elephant Reserve network in the country increased from 76,508 km to 80,777 km2 comprising of 33 Elephant Reserves during the last two years.

On the occasion, Minister Yadav interacted with the Gaj Saathi and other frontline staff who are in the forefront of managing human-elephant conflict.

As part of the World Elephant Day celebrations, the Minister released the report on the Elephant Corridors of India prepared by the Project Elephant. .

The report involves nearly two years of concerted efforts. The report comprises of details pertaining to 150 elephant corridors across India with corresponding maps. The report is intended to serve as an important reference manual for the elephant corridors of India.

Yadav also released the second version of the Atlas of Elephant Reserves of India, which is intended to provide basic information on all the 33 Elephant Reserves of India.

The Minister conferred the Gaj Gaurav awards to the awardees for their exemplary contributions in the field of elephant conservation and management.

During the event, the prestigious Gaj Gaurav awards were conferred to Alefnagar Joint Forest Management Committee, West Bengal, Late Bishwarrajan Panigrahi, (ex) protection squad in the Dhenkanal range of Odisha for his exemplary services, Pitambara Gouda, watcher, elephant squad of Rayagada Forest Division in Koraput circle of Odisha, Deepak Sharma, Forest Guard, Assistant Gaj Yatra Team, Mahasamund Forest Division, Chhattisgarh, and Dr.Mirza Vaseem, veterinary officer, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka.

Union (MoS) Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Odisha Forest Minister Pradip Amat also spoke.

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