Tiruchy railway division reduced cattle run over cases by 50 per cent

The division only reported 46 cattle run-over cases in 2022, but saw a significant rise in 2023.
File picture of stray cattle roaming through railway track in Tiruchy
File picture of stray cattle roaming through railway track in Tiruchy Photo | MK Ashok Kumar

TIRUCHY: The Tiruchy railway division, which saw a four-fold increase in cattle runover cases in 2023, has managed to reduce it by over 50% thanks to fencing and awareness campaigns, officials said.

The division only reported 46 cattle run-over cases in 2022, but saw a significant rise in 2023. More than 60% of these incidents last year happened on the Tiruchy-Villupuram mainline (via Thanjavur-Kumbakonam-Mayiladuthurai), according to railways.

File picture of stray cattle roaming through railway track in Tiruchy
Fourfold jump in cattle run-over incidents in Tiruchy division, action against errant owners mulled

To address the situation, authorities implemented various measures in January this year. They formed a special team to identify vulnerable spots in this section. Within three weeks, cattle runover cases have now reduced by over 50%, according to officials.

Stray cattle run over cases in Tiruchy Railway Division
Stray cattle run over cases in Tiruchy Railway Division

"On an average, Tiruchy railway Division used to report 20-30 cases of cattle run over cases each month. For example, in January 2024, there were roughly 25 cases. The issue is grave and has an impact on railway safety. As a result, our group installed more fencing in vulnerable areas and raised awareness in villages. The number of cases have come down to 10 in February, 13 in March, and 11 in May as a result of these activities. We are routinely evaluating and exploring options to further reduce cases," stated MS Anbalagan, Divisional Railway Manager, Tiruchy.

According to sources, the surge in cattle run-over cases in railways is due to increased number of stray cattle being seized in cities and towns. "Many villagers have now started to release their cattle to areas close to railway tracks, causing a rise in stray cattle runover cases. Since the railway has vast tracts of vacant land, it is impossible to fence them all. Therefore, we identified some of the vulnerable areas by fencing such spots," a source said.

After the Tiruchy-Villupuram line, the Tiruchy-Karaikal line reports the highest cattle run over cases. "On most weeks, our team visits villages on the Tiruchy-Villupuram and Tiruchy-Karaikal line. We need their cooperation to bring cases down," said a senior official.

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