New System to Prevent Jumbo Fatalities Along Coimbatore-Palakkad Railway Line | Coimbatore News

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Southern Railway plans to implement an intrusion detection system along the Coimbatore-Palakkad line to prevent elephant deaths.

Southern Railway plans to implement an intrusion detection system along the Coimbatore-Palakkad line to prevent elephant deaths.
The system will identify elephant movements near tracks and alert locomotive drivers so they can reduce speed, the railways told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) last week. The court was hearing a case about the death of elephants in the Coimbatore Forest region. Official data shows that four elephants have died in collisions with trains in the past year.
An elephant habitat of about 200 hectares lies between the tracks connecting Coimbatore (Pothanur) to Kerala and they frequently cross the tracks to feed in agricultural fields.
Over the past five years, up to 2008, such cases of crop damage have been recorded. The government paid ₹5.15 crore as compensation to affected farmers. In these cases, 91 humans lost their lives and 57 were injured.
Previous measures such as the installation of ultraviolet-based early warning and message alert systems, installed on a pilot basis, have failed. The NGT, in 2020, asked Southern Railway and the TN Forestry Department to find a permanent solution.
While the railroads said it had started laying fiber optic cables on the sides of the two rail tracks to install the IDS, the Forest Department said it had stepped up monitoring along vulnerable sections.
In addition to the existing surveillance force, 10 new track observers have been deployed to monitor animal movements along tracks in the Madukkarai Range. Four new watchtowers will soon be installed to respond to emergencies, said Shekar Kumar Niraj, Tamil Nadu’s Senior Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden.
In addition, the department keeps a regular record of elephant movements as soon as they are sighted, and the information is relayed to villagers and the media on a dedicated WhatsApp group, Shekar told the court on February 24. People for Livestock India (PFCI), an animal rescue group that filed this case, wished to file objections and suggestions. The case was adjourned to March 11.

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