Title: Conservationists Stress the Need for a Long-Term Solution to Prevent Elephant-Train Collisions
Wildlife conservationists have recently appealed to the forest department, urging them to address the issue of train collisions with elephants by implementing a permanent solution rather than relying on temporary measures. While the introduction of an underpass seems promising for safely facilitating elephant crossings, experts highlight that it should not be viewed as an ultimate resolution to mitigate conflicts. Conservationists suggest an alternative approach, advocating for abandoning the vulnerable ‘B’ line track that traverses through forested areas and instead constructing a new track outside the buffer zone to prevent future conflicts.
J Sathish, the director of Kongu Global Forum, emphasizes the importance of avoiding ad-hoc solutions and states, Our suggestion is that most of the vulnerable ‘B’ line track should be entirely abandoned as it runs through the forest area. Instead, a new track should be laid outside the buffer zone to prevent any conflicts.
In contrast to adopting advanced technologies such as AI-powered warning systems, environmentalist K Mohanraj believes that real-time solutions such as acquiring elephant corridors and developing trenches should be prioritized. He notes, Only time will reveal whether the project will be a success or failure. The elephants would have already become accustomed to using other areas, making it unnecessary for them to rely on the newly constructed underpass. Furthermore, redirecting elephants to the underpass may pose risks, as the animals could become agitated and potentially trigger conflicts.
The conservationists’ call for a permanent solution stems from their objective to establish a harmonious coexistence between trains and elephants. By abandoning the ‘B’ line track running through forested regions and constructing an alternative route outside the buffer zone, the potential for conflicts can be substantially reduced. Simultaneously, acquiring elephant corridors and developing trenches can provide additional safe passage options for elephants and help enforce their natural movements. Striking a balanced approach, which takes into account the welfare of both elephants and humans, is crucial in finding a successful long-term resolution to prevent tragic collisions.
In conclusion, conservationists are urging the forest department to prioritize the implementation of a permanent solution to prevent elephant-train collisions. While acknowledging the effectiveness of the newly built underpass in facilitating elephant crossings, experts stress that it should not be considered a total solution. By abandoning the vulnerable track through the forest area and constructing an alternative route, as well as acquiring elephant corridors and developing trenches, both elephants and trains can coexist safely without any unnecessary conflicts. It is essential to prioritize the overall well-being of wildlife and society, and only time will determine the effectiveness of these proposed measures.