Elephants in India are often killed by Over Speeding Trains!

Train in West Bengal in India hits herd of elephants crossing train tracks, killing 7

Over speeding can be understandable for vehicles on road. After all they sometimes have to make for the time wasted on a traffic jam. But, Can over speeding be justified for a Train, especially when it travels through a reserved forests or forests, where the drivers expressly & clearly instructed via their rule book, not to speed up?

I’m asking this question, as only yesterday a passenger train plowed into a herd of elephants in eastern India, killing seven, including two calves, as they lumbered across the tracks in a forest. Ten other elephants were seriously injured and the death toll could rise.

Notably, according to the official reports the train was travelling at 80 kilometres (50 miles) an hour at the time of accident and was travelling through the Chapramari Forest area when it struck the herd of 40 elephants crossing the tracks on Wednesday at dusk. According to a West Bengal Government Minister, the Railway authorities have ignored requests from his department to have trains reduce their speeds inside the elephant corridor in Jalpaiguri district, about 670 kilometres (415 miles) from Kolkata, the state capital.

Dozens of elephants have died in recent years after being struck while crossing railroad tracks that run through India’s national parks and forests. In December, a train killed five elephants in neighbouring Orissa state. In West Bengal alone at least 50 elephants have been killed by trains since 2004.

In the Northern Hill State of India, the Uttarakhand, with its capital at Dehradun; at least two such incidents took place in 2012 alone; where over speed trains killed at least a dozen elephants. India’s wild elephant population was recently estimated at about 26,000. But, that doesn’t mean we can be irresponsible.

This is Ridiculous!

For the reasons already mentioned above; Elephants killed by a speeding train defies logic. But these elephant deaths can be prevented. There must be a zero tolerance for over speeding in  forests. And this is not very difficult. If the authorities responsible can order trains to stick to a speed limit; then there’s no reason, they can’t implement it with zero defect.

Elephants in India have to suffer a lot due to human encroachments in Wild Life Areas. Lets at least save the damage, where we can.