MEETING BETWEEN MINISTER AND RAILWAY OFFICIALS RESULTS IN MEASURES TO PREVENT TIGER DEATHS CAUSED BY TRAINS - 18th April 2013

Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Hon. Minister of State for Environment and Forests convened an urgent meeting of senior officials from the Railway Board and Ministry of Environment and Forests on 18th April, 2013, to establish safeguards to prevent tiger deaths due to train hits, in the wake of recent casualties near Chandrapur, Maharashtra.

Officials from the Railway Board and Ministry of the Environment and Forests including Secretary (E&F), DGF&SS, Member Secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and others were present at the meeting. Based on the deliberations, the following urgent steps were agreed upon for implementation by the Forest and Railway Departments.

1 Restricting the speed limit of trains to 40 kilometer per hour in the Gonda-Chandrapur sector.

2 Identification of sensitive habitats in the Gondia-Chandrapur railway sector, based on the ongoing Phase-IV monitoring using camera traps and other methods.

3 Putting in place a system for sharing of tiger spatial use data in advance between Forest Department and the Railways through VHF wireless on a day to day basis, with monthly joint review by senior officials of Railway and Forests at the Division level.

4. Facilitating e-Surveillance' of tiger movement using 24X7 intelligent, thermal cameras at sensitive points (near railway tracks).

5. Organising tiger/wildlife sensitization workshops by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for Railway personnel, while providing information brochure in English/ local vernacular in tiger sensitive zones.

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