The Indian Railways will be installing seismic sensors and thermal cameras on railway tracks around the 18-km Kansro range in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Uttarakhand to warn train drivers, reports the Financial Express. The advance detection system, a first-of-its-kind initiative in India, will help avoid trains hitting animals in the region.
For the past three decades, over two dozen animals, mostly elephants have been hit by the trains. RTR Director PK Patra said that the system, which includes ten seismic sensors and three thermal cameras, will be installed along the railway lines at six points in the range within the next six months.
The points were identified based on the frequency of elephant crossings. Plus the 18-km line will also have elephant proof barricading. The system will detect the smallest movements from animals and inform the officials at the central server facility.
The data will be then reviewed and only after confirming the presence of an elephant in range, they will alert the patrolling staff, train’s loco pilot, RTR administration and the nearest station. Chandigarh-based Central Scientific Instrumentation Research Organisation developed the system.
The system is being launched on pilot-basis in collaboration with the Union Forest Ministry, the WWF and the Wildlife Institute of India. Officials believe the system is economical, will reduce the burden on patrolling staff and make monitoring wildlife conservation at the RTR reserve effective.