Joda 3 Elephants Death Case: Forest Dept To Issue Show Cause To Railways

Keonjhar: The Forest Department has sought the speed recorder file, station master’s diary and other details from Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Chakradharpur in connection with the death of three elephants which were hit by a goods train on the Bansapani railway line under Joda forest section in Champua range on Thursday evening.

The Department will be issuing a show cause notice to DRM Chakradharpur.

“We have sought the speed recorder file, station master’s diary and other details. We will certainly seek show cause from them,” informed Keonjhar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Dhanraj Dhamdheere.

The DFO said that though no one has been found guilty in the preliminary inquiry to some extent, there is human error, so accountability will be fixed on Forest Department officials whoever is found to have been negligent in discharging their responsibilities.

Dharamdheere said that the Forest Department will talk to DRM Chakradharpur, other railway officials and national highway authority officials to plug any loopholes and human error to prevent such occurrences in future while ensuring economic growth and wildlife safety.

He said that even though standard operation procedures (SOP) were followed that doesn’t mean that there has been no lapse.

“As per preliminary inquiry, since no accident has occurred in that stretch in the last 8-10 years, the ‘caution order’ has probably been ignored assuming that nothing will happen. Had that order been followed, at least there could have been speed restriction and the elephants could have got some response time to react and this incident could have probably been avoided,” the DFO said.

Three elephants, including two calves, were killed when a goods train carrying iron ore hit them while they were crossing the railway lines near Joda in Keonjhar district on Thursday evening.

Dhanraj Dhamdheere, DFO, Keonjhar