Drivers ordered to stop trains on spotting tigers

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Samastipur, May 11: With a view to protecting the endangered species found roaming frequently in and around the tracks in Bagha-Balmikinagar rail section, the railway administration has instructed drivers to stop the trains on spotting any tiger on the tracks.

Official sources said about 18 km stretch of the section passes through the dense forests of Bagha and several passenger trains ply on the section every day, adding that recently a rhinoceros was crushed by the wheels of a speeding train.

Taking notice of the incident, the Forest department sent a letter to the Railway department, requesting it to take suitable measures under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Following the request of the Forest department, the Railway department directed the drivers to stop the trains on spotting any wild animal on the track.

The drivers were also asked to ply the train cautiously and act on the spot according to their wisdom.

Divisional Rail Manager (DRM) Kundan Choudhry said here that directions had been given under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

The Forest department had also requested the Railway administration to restrict the speed of the trains in the forest area and suggested to ply the trains at the speed of 20 km per hour during daytime and 10 km per hour at night.

Meanwhile Senior Divisional Operating Manager, Samastipur Division, Dayanand said, ''In view of the security concerns, speed of trains can not be checked as proscribed Maoist ultras are active in the forest area. In case of slow speed, the Maoists may attack the trains.'' He added that the drivers had been asked to act as per their wisdom and drive carefully.

Meanwhile the Forest department, soon after the killing of the rhinoceros by a speeding train, had filed a case against the Railway administration under the Wildlife Conservation Act in a lower court of Bettiah of West Champarn district.

The Railways had also filed a petition in Patna High Court challenging the case lodged at the lower court by the Forest department.

Meanwhile, a driver of a passenger train, passing through the forest area every day, said, ''Once the train stops, it is very difficult to drive out the dangerous wild animals from the railawy track.'' Therefore, to prevent the wild animals from crossing the tracks, the driver suggested to fence it in the forest area.

UNI

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