Coordination committee formed to look into elephant deaths
Part of: Prelims and GS III – Environment
Context: The Union Environment Ministry has constituted a “permanent” coordination committee that includes representatives of the Ministries of Railways and Environment to prevent elephant deaths on railway tracks
- 19 elephants were killed across the country on railway tracks in 2018-19, 14 in 2019-20 and 12 in 2020-21.
- Several steps were taken to reduce the number of elephant deaths. These include:
- Making permanent and temporary speed restrictions in identified elephant corridors and habitats,
- making underpasses and ramps for movement of elephants at identified locations,
- providing fencing at selected locations,
- erecting signs to warn train drivers about identified elephant corridors,
- sensitising train crew and station masters to avoid train collisions with elephants and
- clearing vegetation on the sides of track within railway land.
- The Wildlife Institute of India, an autonomous body of the Environment Ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, National Highways Authority of India, National Tiger Conservation Authority and World Bank Group, has published a document named “Eco Friendly measures to mitigate impacts of linear infrastructure” to assist project agencies in designing linear infrastructure, including railway lines, to reduce human-animal conflicts.
- There are three subspecies of Asian elephant which are the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan.
- Global Population: Estimated 20,000 to 40,000.
- More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India.
- IUCN Red List Status: Endangered.
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.
News Source: TH