Solar fencing to prevent elephants being run over by trains

Berhampur: In a bid to prevent wild animals from being run over by trains, Odisha's Forest department is planning to install solar fences on either side of the railway track from Rambha bypass to Palur junction in Ganjam district.
The move comes after at least six elephants were crushed to death by an express train near Subalaya a place within the five km railway line, on December 29 last year.
Though drivers have been asked to slow down on this stretch following the accident, Forest officers are pushing for installation of solar fences as a permanent solution to the problem.
"We have submitted a proposal to the chief wildlife warden and principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) for erecting five-km solar fence on either side of the railway track near Subalaya," divisional forest officer (Berhampur) S S Mishra said.
The proposed project would cost around Rs 8 lakh, he added.
Forest department has sought permission of railways to use the latter's land for the purpose. The railway authorities are yet to respond to the request, Mishra said, adding that solar fencing will prevent elephants from crossing the tracks and being hit by speeding trains.
With reports pouring in about presence of an elephant herd in the area, the urgency behind the proposal can be well gauged. "At least 13 elephants, divided into three groups, are roaming in the area," forest officer said.