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Siliguri train mows down 2 jumbos forest dept to lodge FIR against

first_imgDarjeeling: The Forest department will be lodging an FIR against the motorman of the Intercity Express train that mowed two elephants (mother and cub) in the Jalpaiguri district on Friday morning.The incident occurred at around 7:45 am in between Redbank Tea Estate and Debpara Tea Estate near Railway Pillar 875 and Banarhaat when a herd of elephants were crossing the tracks. The train runs between Siliguri Junction and Alipurduar.While the mother and the calf died on the spot, the rest of the herd moved into Dyna forest. “We have been constantly coordinating with the railways regarding elephant movement throughout the State. In the past, we have requested the railways to ensure that motormans exercise caution while driving through elephant corridors. It seems they have turned a deaf ear,” retorted Binay Krishna Burman, Forest Minister, Government of West Bengal.This year, four elephants have been mowed down by speeding trains (including these two elephants) in North Bengal.Since the conversion of the Jalpaiguri-Alipurduar railways track to broad gauge from meter gauge in 2004, 70 elephants have been killed.Ujjal Ghosh, Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Northern Circle: “The area in which the elephants were mowed down is an established elephant corridor.On Thursday, we had informed the Railways of elephant movement in the area and even intimated them of the location. The elephants were mowed down 500 meters away from the area we had earmarked. Ironically, the accident happened in broad daylight. We will lodge an FIR against the engine motorman.”The railways have constituted an enquiry committee. “The committee after conducting a thorough enquiry will submit its report,” stated Chandravir Raman, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Alipurduar.He, however, stated that the motorman of the train had applied emergency brakes when the elephants appeared on the tracks suddenly.”There is speed restriction of 30 km per hour from 5 pm to 5 am. As the accident occurred after 5 am, there was no speed restriction in the region at the time of the accident,” added Raman.Forest employees complain that the train was at a high speed at the time of the incident.last_img

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