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Coimbatore railways, forest officials to meet on elephant deaths

Coimbatore: A joint meeting of Railways and Forest Department officials to be convened soon will discuss the ways and means to prevent deaths of elephant on railway track on being hit by speeding trains, officials said.

This was decided after an inspection carried out by a team of officials led by Chief Wild Life Warden of Tamil Nadu V K Melkani on a 25 km stretch between Palakkad in Kerala and nearby Podanur in Tamil Nadu where such accidents occured in the last one decade.

Southern Railway officials, including Assistant Operation Manager (Palakkad Division) D Parimalan and forest officials were present during the inspection.

Around 10 elephants died in the last nine years after being hit by trains in the stretch, the recent being the death of a lactating elephant near Madukkarai near Coimbatore, caused by Kochiveli Express.

The need for heavy metal fencing along with the railway track on the stretch, digging trench and limiting the speed of the trains, will be discussed in the meeting, forest department sources said.

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