Guwahati, April 16 (IANS) An elephant died in Assam’s Hojai district in the wee hours of Tuesday after being hit by a train, said Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) officials.
The elephant collided with the 15603 Guwahati-Ledo Intercity Express between Patharkhola and Lumding at around 1.10 a.m. damaging the train engine, officials said, adding that the forest department confirmed the elephant to be dead.
The accident took place between two areas where elephant movements were detected earlier and Permanent Caution Orders were issued to the train drivers, said Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer of NFR. However, no caution orders had been issued for the spot where the collision occurred.
In 2018, train drivers had avoided 115 such incidents of collision and saved the elephants by stopping the train on noticing the movement of elephant herds near or over the railway tracks.
The figure for avoiding collisions was 119 in 2017, 145 in 2016 and 118 in 2015. In 2019 till date, six such incidents have been averted.
The NFR has installed Laser Speed Radar Guns to detect over speeding of trains in elephant zones. All train drivers and trackmen were counselled to observe all permanent and temporary speed restrictions. Fixing of buzzers letting off the sound of buzzing honey bees at level crossing gates at vulnerable locations had proved to be effective in chasing away elephants.