MANGALURU: The forest department and the railways will conduct a joint survey along the railway route passing through the dense Shiradi Ghat forest to identify elephant pass and take measures to avoid instances of deaths.
This comes in the wake of the death of two elephant calves on that stretch on June 10. The survey is expected to be completed by month end.
Hassan DCF Shivaram Babu told that the meeting held by the forest department with Railways last month arrived at this decision to hold a joint survey to identify the same and take preventive steps.
“We are planning a joint survey to identify places that need protection and make a check list on what all need to be done. Both the teams have agreed on an action plan,” he said, adding that the plan is in the process of being drafted. “The survey will be completed by month end as the Railways are busy since the Ghat section is witnessing many landslides,” he said.
Regarding the number of elephant passes, Babu said: “We have a rough idea, but we have to do a complete survey to know the exact number.”
According to Babu, there are 15 elephants in that region. The Hassan division comprises of 30km, thereafter it comes under Mangaluru Section. “As both the sections have forests, we need inputs from Mangaluru section also to get the correct picture to take measures which will prevent animal deaths,” he said.
Forest officials who are aware of this say that such incidents can very well be prevented if the loco pilots take enough care while moving through the ghat section and forest areas. Loco pilots have to make use of the horns, lights and slow down at blind spots. Once the elephant corridors are marked, sources say signages may be placed so that loco pilots will do what is directed as per the decision of the forest department and Railways after the survey is over – mostly it would be cutting down speeds and use of horns.