NGT asks committee to look into death of elephants on Southern Railway tracks 

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Environment Ministry has been asked by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to look into the deaths of elephants taking place on railway tracks from Kottekad in Kerala and Madukkarai in Tamil Nadu. On Friday, the apex body directed the Central Monitoring Committee constituted by the Union ministry dealing with the project ‘Elephant’ to look into the death. 

In all, seven elephants have been killed as per the media report between 10 pm to 6 am on being hit by the trains on ‘B’ line and one elephant was killed on ‘A’ line of the map given in the media report. ‘ A’ line runs through the reserve forest for 17 km between Chullimada-Madukkarai stations and the ‘B’ line passes through the reserve forest for 23 km between Madukkarai-Kanjikode stations.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said a joint meeting needs to be held on the subject by the Central Monitoring Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) with the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Southern Railways within one month from Friday.

The Central Monitoring Committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests dealing with the project Elephant needs to look into the issue raised in the media report in coordination with the Railway Authorities, the Wildlife Institute of India and the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

“A joint meeting needs to be held on the subject by the Central Monitoring Committee of the MoEF with Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Southern Railways within one month from today to work out the necessary modalities, including the authority which is to incur the necessary expenditure,” the bench also comprising Justice Sudhir Agarwal said.

The tribunal passed the order after perusing the status report filed by the state of Tamil Nadu which said the reasons for death are visibility on the track being poor to the loco pilots and topography being unsuitable for the elephants to escape.