"The tragedy is all the more poignant in the wake of the Environment Ministry's decision to declare the elephant as our national heritage animal, to take steps to establish a national Conservation Authority and to implement the recommendations of the Elephant Task Force to protect designated elephant corridors," he said.
Seven jumbos were killed near Banerhat Station in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal. The mishap, which is considered as one of the worst in the history of the state, incidentally took place in the zone that is designated as a jumbo corridor and the railways is expected to take special steps like slowing down of trains to provide safe crossing to the elephants.
There has been a steady rise in the cases of elephants being killed on railway tracks. The unsympathetic attitude towards these incidents has enraged the animal lovers across the country.
"This is not the first time that such a mishap has taken place, although the scale with which it has taken place now is unprecedented particularly in the North-East frontier," the Union Minister, who is currently in New York for the Major Economic Forum (MEF), said in a statement.
He also expressed anger over the fact that his repeated appeals in the past to Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee as well to Railway Board officials seeking measures to thwart such tragedies have fallen to deaf ears.