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Need to fence rail tracks to prevent elephant deaths

Animal lovers have demanded the fencing of railway tracks to prevent gruesome incidents of elephants being run over by trains. At least seven elephants are killed on railway tracks every year, they claimed.

Need to fence rail tracks to prevent elephant deaths
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Thiruchirapalli

A 2011 report by the Department of Environment and Forests says around 150 elephants were killed across the country between 1987 and 2010 after being hit by trains. The number had increased over a period. Reports showed at least seven tuskers die every year on the tracks. Animal lovers had expressed concerns over the deaths of the elephants due to the lack of proper preventive measures. 

The railways had made a proposal of solar fencing of tracks, but the project has been put on hold for various reasons. Though the railways have initiated various steps to prevent elephant-train collisions, elephant deaths by trains could not be curbed. The railways has opted for speed control and fencing systems to save the lives of elephants straying into railway tracks. 

However, the efforts of railways succeeded in north east states as preventive fencing could bring down the fatalities. 

Animal lovers in the state also demand similar measures so that the deaths of elephants could be prevented. According to railway sources, Rs 61 lakh has been earmarked for raising one kilometre of fencing. A 2016 project report was kept on hold for various administrative reasons. When the works are initiated, the death toll could be controlled remarkably, said an animal enthusiast. 

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