More and more cattle are dying on railway tracks by coming under running trains in India. This has become an alarming situation for the cattle safety. So far 1,300 cases of accidents of cattle by speeding train have been registered in the North Central Railway division since April making it 271 per cent rise from 349 cattle deaths during this period.
Indian Railways has recorded the rise of cattle deaths over 10,105 making it jump of 362 per cent. Since April 2018, 6,900 cattle have been registered dead because of speeding trains making it increase of 112 per cent in 2015-16.
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“It’s a big menace. There are unsupervised cattle and sometimes herdsmen are unable to keep a tab on them. The RPF and track staff try to sensitise villagers in known problem areas, but these cases just keep happening. We lose punctuality while extricating the cattle from the track and restoring operations; often the engine gets damaged and fails,” said Manoj Singh, Divisional Railway Manager of Jabalpur in West Central Railway.
Mostly the abandoned cows become the victims of the speeding trains. These are the cows which are abandoned by the farmers after the stop producing milk. Earlier the cows were sold to slaughterhouses, but now because of government’s ban the cows are left to roam out freely, where most of them go to graze green grasses near the railway track and become the victim of running trains.
“Cow deaths due to accidents on tracks and roads have increased, but they are mostly cows roaming astray after they stop giving milk. They are mostly desi breed. And this problem will only grow in the coming years,” Singh said. “Is this not cow slaughter?” said Daljit Singh, president of the Dairy Farmers’ Association in Punjab.