BHUBANESWAR: A day after the shocking death of three elephants in a train accident, Keonjhar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) on Saturday issued show cause notices to Chakradharpur Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and Champua range officer seeking reply on the lapses that led to the mishap.Keonjhar DFO Dhamdhere Dhanraj Hanumant said both the DRM and range officer have been asked to comply with the notice within five days.
“We have also sought details about speed of the train and whether it had been asked to slow down on that particular stretch,” the DFO said and added that disciplinary action will be recommended against those found guilty of the lapses in the course of investigation.The mishap took place near Banspani Behera Hatting, around 70 km from Keonjhar on Thursday night. Three elephants, a female and two calves which were part of a herd of 22, died while crossing the railway track when a goods train carrying iron ore rammed into them.
Forest officials claimed that prima facie the mishap appears to have occurred due to lapses on part of the railways as caution order had been issued to them to reduce train speed on the stretch in view of presence of the herd. The DFO had also informed that speed of the train during the mishap was around 58-59 kmph. The department is also investigating if there was any lapse on part of the forest team in coordinating with the railway officials.
Meanwhile, steps are being taken to prevent recurrence of such events. Field staff are on the alert and have been tracking the herd which is still present in the forests close to the track, the DFO said. Sources said, the Forest Department is planning solar fencing along tracks barring areas where the elephant movement is frequent to properly implement the speed limit rule.