Southern Railway begins work on doom for jumbos in Madukkarai- The New Indian Express | So Good News


Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Southern Railway has started the preliminary work for construction of an underpass to facilitate easy and safe access for wild elephants at km 505A/400-500 of railway line B which comes under Madukkarai forest area.

Once completed, the underpass will help prevent wild elephants from crossing the railway tracks, in search of water and food, and being hit by trains. The underpass is the first project of its kind in the Southern Railway and the Center has sanctioned Rs 7.49 crore for it. The project must be completed in 24 months.

According to Palakkad Railway Division sources, temporary railway bridge girders and Christ Church Cribs which are used as temporary stands in bridge construction/rehabilitation works, to support limited head girders or relieve girders during limited speed traffic up to a height of 1800mm etc. have been loaded near the site .

“We will launch the two temporary girders in the next few weeks. However, this will be done keeping in mind the climatic condition as soil moisture will be assessed. Train movement will be suspended for a few hours on line B to facilitate the work. The vertical clearance to the subway will be 6 meters and the width of the passage under the subway will be 18.3 meters,” the official added.

“The substructure for the underpass will be constructed using a cast-in-situ method which duly provides a temporary girder and the superstructure is a composite girder which will be launched using side swing method,” the official added.

The construction work for the second subway will be taken up at km506/900-506A/00 on the same railway line only after the first subway work is finished. According to sources, five elephants were killed in Tamil Nadu out of the 186 wild elephants that died after being hit by trains across the country in the ten years to 2020. The Ministry of Environment and Forests’ ‘Project Elephant’ department gave this information in a RTI response filed by activist R Pandiraja in December 2021.

Southern railway started the underpass work based on the direction of the Madras High Court order in February. Pandiraja said, “We will know whether the metro project is successful only when the animals start entering. We have to analyze and discuss the ways with forest officials and elephant experts to get the animals to use the metro.”


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