With almost all the world going the electronic way, it’s now time for the Wildlife and environment ministry to implement technology. Indian government is resorting to stringent means to safeguard the wildlife especially after recent events of train-animal collision. One important step forward is e-surveillance of tiger movements for preventing death of these big cats due to train hits.
It was heartbreaking when a tiger cub was recently killed in a train collision near Kelzar railway station close to Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve in Maharashtra. The driver of Gondia- Chanda Fort passenger train reported of two tigers hit by the train while a group of four were crossing the tracks at night. While the cub died on the spot, another tiger was injured and seen by the passengers tending to its wounds under a tree.
The decision to use technology for the benefit of tigers, was taken by the senior officials from the Environment ministry and the Railway Board at a recent meeting convened by the environment minister Jayanthi Natrajan. It was the result of the casualty reported in Maharashtra, officials quoted.
E-eye on the Tigers
E-surviellance will mainly include use of camera traps to pint point the location of tigers, especially near railway tracks. It will also include the systematic sharing of tiger location data between forest departments so that they are safe from train collisions and possible deaths.
The meeting reviewed country level status on tiger deaths due to train hits and also the tiger monitoring protocol adopted for the same. It was decided that the data about tiger’s movements and location will be shared in advance between the Forest department and the Railways through the wireless on a regular day-to-day basis. The officials also asked for a monthly joint review of both the departments at the division level.
The speed limits of the trains will be regulated and restricted to 40km per hour in this sector of Gondia-Chandrapur. The e-surveillance of tiger movements would be used 24×7 along with intelligent and thermal cameras at sensitive points mostly located near the railway tracks.
The officials have also decided to organize wildlife sensitization workshops for the railway personnel. Officials from The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will conduct lessons on tigers and wildlife for the railway personnel.
Such measures will help ensure that India’s endangered tigers do not become victims of accidental deaths due to tiger-train collisions.
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