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TN forest department wants Railways to demolish its concrete walls for free movement of wild elephants

Chennai, Feb 7(BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu forest department has formally requested Southern Railway to demolish concrete walls at five locations to provide a free movement of wild elephants. The Chief Wild Life Warden of Tamil Nadu, Shekar Kumar Neeraj along with forest officials had a trek along the railway line A and railway line B in the Podanur- Madukkari stretch for 7 km on Sunday and conducted a detailed on the spot study on the issues faced by wild elephants.

It may be noted that three elephants including a calf elephant were killed by a speeding Mangalore- Chennai express in  November and ever since Railways and Forest department of Tamil Nadu has been on a collision course.

The Chief Wildlife warden while speaking to BPNS said,” Yes we conducted a trek along the Railway line A and Railway Line B through Madukkarai- Podanur sector. We have requested Southern Railway to demolish concrete walls at five locations to ensure the free movement of wild elephants. Measures for solar installation along railway line A have been taken”.

Shekar Kumar Neeraj also said that residents of the area have informed the department that trains only blow horns occasionally which was against the Standard operating procedure chalked out.

According to information available, the Chief Wild Life warden and his team inspected the railway corridors between two major points –Coonor and Kallar railway stations in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) and wanted the Southern Railway to demolish concrete walls in five locations.

The Chief Wildlife warden said, “We have found 30 retaining walls that are impairing the free movement of wild elephants and other wild animals. Elephant Calves in most cases are not able to cross these walls. The plastic waste dumped across the railway tracks has also to be cleared as also food waste as animals including elephants reaches the railway tracks getting attracted at the smell of the food leftovers and get hit fatally by running trains.”