Railway introduces hotline for alert | Daily News
Elephant-train collisions

Railway introduces hotline for alert

Railway Department GM Dilantha Fernando speaks at the press conference yesterday. Picture by Rukmal Gamage
Railway Department GM Dilantha Fernando speaks at the press conference yesterday. Picture by Rukmal Gamage

The Railway Department yesterday introduced a hotline for the public and Railway employees to give information regarding the movements of the elephants in close proximity to the railway track.

The hotline 070 – 444 54 54 is operational round the clock and information received will be shared with the locomotive drivers, guards, stationmasters, and CGR employees working in those areas through the ‘ElephantALT’ special alert service. A special operations office has been set up to receive the information.

This alert would include details such as the number of elephants, place where they were seen, between which stations, the time, and the line.

This hotline was introduced as one of the recommendations made through the report prepared by the Railway Department and the Wildlife Department regarding elephant–train collisions, Railway Department GM Dilantha Fernando said.

This year 13 elephants lost their lives due to elephant–train collisions on the Northern and Eastern lines. The Railway Department has identified over 600km along the Northern, Trincomalee and the Batticoloa lines beyond the Maho junction as the vulnerable areas.

According to the General Manager, the other recommendation made by the report is the building of overpasses and underpasses at the identified elephant corridors. This is expected to be implemented though the Road Development Authority with Asian Development Bank funds, he said.

These measures would not fully resolve the issue, but would minimise the possible tragedies to a certain level, he said.


 

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