Loco Pilots sensitized on wildlife conservation

elephant census


Jai Kumar

DEHRADUN, April 21

In the backdrop of recent elephants deaths in train hit incidents in Uttarakhand, WWF India conducted a session for loco pilots at Dehradun Railway Station sensitizing them about precautions they need to take while driving the trains through wildlife areas.

The training programmes comes at a time when only recent two elephant calves were run over by Ranikhet express train in Kumaon region of the state. Elephant deaths on railway track in Rajaji Tiger Reserve have also taken place on several occasions in the past.

A fourteen-kilometre of railway track runs right through the Rajaji Tiger Reserve has in particular been identified as killer tracks due to causalities to wildlife caused by trains moving in these tracks. As many as twenty elephants died when hit by trains between 1987 and March 2002. In January 2014, two elephants were crushed to death by Delhi-bound Jan Shatabdi, which was followed by another incident involving Nandadevi express train some time back.

Senior WWF India’s official Dr A.K.Singh, who conducted the training said it was important that loco pilots that drive the trains are sensitise on the importance of wildlife conservation. He said slight complacency on part of loco pilots can save or kill an elephant. He said WWF from time to time holds such training programmes.

Large number of local pilots attended the training programme.