BHOPAL: Concerned about the safety of big cats around railway track in Budhni-Midghat area on the Bhopal Division of West Central Railway zone, the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department officials have started special vigil campaign. Forest Department has also planned to hold monitoring of animals around railway tracks with drone cameras. Through the drone camera, officials will keep an eye on movement of tigers.
Railways has recently written letter to the Forest Department to prevent movement of animals around railway tracks. Several incidents have been reported from Budhni-Midghat area in which big cats have been run over by trains. The issue became controversial after NGOs and wildlife lovers raised the issue of felines’ death by running trains. Concerned over the safety of animals, Railways has deployed special team to keep an eye in the area.
The train accident of big cats in Budhni forest division is becoming common thing. Last year (2017) too, there were several cases in which big cats were hit by speeding trains. On February 23, 2017, a leopard and tiger were found dead in mysterious circumstances in same area. On January 21, 2017, a tigress was found dead in Sarvahi village under Shahdol district.
According to sources, wrong chain-fencing around Midghat railway track could be causing frequent wild cat deaths in this area. In previous incident, one of the hind legs of tigress was found missing. Officials suspected that hind leg of the tigress could have been stuck with the train wheels. On December 6, a tiger was killed by train in Majhgawan village, very close to Chitahara jungles under Satna district.
According to Ajay Dubey, Secretary Prayatna, 32 tigers died in different incidents in State during year 2016. He said, earlier, in year 2014, the then Principal Chief Conservator Of Forest (PCCF) Narendra Kumar wrote to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), demanding to reduce the speed of trains in Shahdol, Bilaspur, Katni and Umaria areas.
On December 29, 2016, a young tigress was killed after being hit by a speeding train in Budhni area, very close to Satpura Tiger Reserve. This was the second feline to have been killed by speeding train in State in over 20 days. On December 6, 2017, a tiger was killed by train in Majhgawan village, very close to Chitahara jungles under Satna district.