In the recent past media has reported the cruel deaths of four elephant calves by the Batticaloa-bound night mail train near Chettikulam in the Eastern Province
This also occurred in the wake of the killing of two other elephants in the Northern Province, by another night train!
A few years ago the CGR and the Department of Wildlife Conservation proudly declared that they had implemented a comprehensive plan to end these needless deaths of our precious wild elephants on rail tracks – what has come of this?
In the past it has been revealed that some of the engine drivers involved had been drunk.
The night trains must be instructed to reduce speed to a crawl as they go through jungle stretches and these night trains can be fitted with CCTV and night vision devices. A special observer to aid the driver to keep a look out would also be valuable. Special luminous warning signs must be placed along the approaches to jungle tracks to alert the train crews.
Apart from the gruesome deaths of these noble beasts it is only a matter of time before there are increased human casualties.
I hope that the government steps in and takes drastic action.