U'Khand govt to install new technology to combat train-elephant collisions
Rishikesh: To prevent elephants from being hit by trains passing through Uttarakhand’s Rajaji Tiger Reserve, authorities will install seismic sensors and thermal cameras to warn them of animal movement near railway tracks.
This detection system will be installed along tracks passing through the reserve’s 18-km Kansro range, where over two dozens animals, mostly elephants, have been killed by trains in the last three decades.
The system, the first-of-its-kind in the country, will be installed within six months, Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) Director PK Patra told media.
Ten seismic sensors and thermal cameras will be installed along the tracks at six points in the range, he said.
The system will detect the slightest movement of elephants and intimate officials at the central server facility, Patra said.
The director said data from the system will be analysed at the facility and after confirming the presence of an elephant in the range, it will generate alerts for patrolling staff, the RTR administration, the train’s loco pilot and the nearest railway station.
Besides the six points identified for the detection system, which will be 50 metres apart from each other, the 18-km stretch will have elephant proof barricading, he said.
The identification of these points was done on the basis of observation of frequency of elephant crossings, Patra said.
The installation of the system has become all the more necessary after electrification of the tracks passing through the range, the RTR director said.
Developed by Chandigarh-based Central Scientific Instrumentation Research Organisation, the pilot project of the system at RTR is being launched in collaboration with the Union Forest Ministry, Wildlife Institute of India and the WWF.
The system is economical and will help unburden patrolling staff and make monitoring of wildlife conservation at the reserve far more effective, officials said.