NGT directs SR to ensure safety of elephants amid spike in deaths

Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Satyagopal Korlapati observed that applicant People for Cattle in India (PFCI) in early 2018 has sent a letter to Principal Chief Conservator seeking action against those threatening to kill elephants in Thadagam valley near Coimbatore.
NGT directs SR to ensure safety of elephants amid spike in deaths

CHENNAI: The Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) hearing the case on elephants being hit by trains and overall spikei in elephants’ deaths in the forest region of TN and Kerala, directed the Southern Railways, Forest Departments of both states to strictly implement the directions issued by the NGT, principal bench, New Delhi.

Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Satyagopal Korlapati observed that applicant People for Cattle in India (PFCI) in early 2018 has sent a letter to Principal Chief Conservator seeking action against those threatening to kill elephants in Thadagam valley near Coimbatore. Besides this, the applicant also mentioned about the killing of a 35-year-old female elephant by two farmers within the Coimbatore forest limit. Additionally, other incidents of elephants’ killings have also been mentioned in the submission.

Hence, hearing all parties, the bench directed the Southern Railways along with Forest Departments of both states to explore the possibility of using artificial intelligence through which loco pilots can reduce the speed of the train from a sufficient distance to avoid hitting the wildlife.

Further, all three parties are directed to convene frequent meetings to monitor the existing methodology and to adopt newer techniques to mitigate the crisis effectively. Besides this, the bench has directed the Railway and Forest Department to hold adequate sensitising and awareness programmes to the loco pilots and staff to update their knowledge and utilise the same while discharging their duties.

Particularly to handle the man-animal conflict effectively, the bench has directed the forest departments of both TN and Kerala to form a team that will interact with villagers living in fringe areas of forest. Lastly, disposing of the case, the bench insisted the TN and Kerala state governments provide necessary assistance from infrastructure, finance and enhancement of staff strength.

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