Committee to prevent elephant deaths by trains

The Committee appointed to make recommendations to prevent the deaths of wild elephants by plying trains has made five recommendations after observing the movements of elephants at points along rail tracks frequented by them.


The Committee commenced their observations of elephant movements on Wednesday (11) along the rail tracks from Maho Junction to Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Thalaimannar and Kankasanthurai. They will conduct observations until Sunday (14).


The committee, which includes 14 Sri Lanka Railways officials, has submitted five recommendations to prevent elephants being hit by trains, the state-run radio reported. Once observations are complete, within the five days, the committee will draw plans on the specific course of action in this regard.The final draft of the plan of action will be submitted to Minister of Transport Nimal Siripala De Silva on the 25th of this month.
Meanwhile, the committee has suggested clearing out the forest on both sides of the railway track within a 30 meter radius in order for train operators to clearly see the rail tracks ahead.The committee has also recommended implementing the train speed limits and to construct roads on a higher ground on both sides of the railway track in order for animals to move.
According to the observations of the committee, it is the responsibility of the government and responsible institutions to build a safe environment for elephants and special attention should be paid to the elephant corridor. The government should focus on scientific methods used in wildlife management in other countries.