Bhubaneswar: The Forest Department on Wednesday asked the railway authorities to take adequate precautions after an elephant herd was found in a hill forest near Surala railway junction in Ganjam district.
In a letter, the Forest Department has advised the railway authorities and the station master of Berhampur railway station to instruct the Loco drivers to blow horn and slow down the train while crossing the Ichhapur railway station at night. As the elephants usually move from the forest to non-forest areas at night in search of fodder and water, there is a possibility of an accident at the time of crossing the railway track, the letter pointed out.
Notably, 18 elephants have died in Odisha in train mishap between 2012 and 2018
A female elephant was mowed down by a goods train while crossing the railway tracks at Kaunriapal under Sadar forest range in Dhenkanal on June 20 last year while another female elephant died after being hit by a goods train near Barada level crossing under Sadar police limits in Dhenkanal on February 1 the same year.
On April 15, 2018, four elephants, including two female and a calf, were killed after being hit by a goods train near Bagdihi railway station in Jharsuguda district while a female elephant was killed in a train mishap near Pattasahi station in Sundargarh district on April 14, 2017.
On November 26, 2013, a female elephant was killed after being hit by the Gitanjali Express in Sundargarh district. On March 21 that year, two elephants had succumbed in Keonjhar district.
In another major accident, six elephants were mowed down by a passenger train near Rambha in Ganjam district on December 31, 2012, while two elephants had died under similar circumstances near Champua, Keonjhar on August 15 the same year.