Elephant run over by train at North Bengal

Posted by: Joydip & Suchandra Kundu on

Two days after a female elephant died after being hit by a speeding train at Banerhat in the Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district, a sub-adult female elephant was run over by a special train carrying BSF jawans from J&K to Guwahati in the early hours 2.10 am of Thursday. 

The accident occurred on the NJP-Alipurduar route between Kalchini and Garopara near Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR). The elephant was dragged around 70 m after being hit by the train. 

"Even though elephants generally move after sunset, the railways has increased train traffic on this track during that period. There is another route running parallel to this one. It passes through Falakata and Jalpaiguri. The railways should lay more lines on that route and immediately shift trains there so as to avoid such accidents," said R P Saini, field director, BTR. 

The forest department has lodged an FIR against the railways at Kalchini police station. When the railways had decided to convert the tracks from Siliguri to Alipurduar through the forests of Dooars, WWF had filed a case in the Calcutta high court. The court had given permission for gauge conversion on the condition that the railways followed certain norms to ensure that no harm was caused to animals. Animal lovers, however, allege that the directives are hardly followed in the region.