Indian railways launch plan to protect elephants

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NRF) has won the ‘best innovation’ award for introducing ‘Plan Bee’ to prevent elephants from getting hurt on rail tracks.

An elephant crosses a railway track which runs through the Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of Siliguri in west Bengal on September 16, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Diptendu DUTTA (Photo credit should read DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Amid the increasing number of elephant deaths in the country, the NRF came up with an innovative ‘Plan Bee’ to protect these large mammals from speeding trains.

As strange as it sounds, elephants are scared of bees and the buzz of beehives. The railways has introduced around 50 amplifying speaker systems that produce the sound of bees and thus keep the elephants away.

In the last six years, almost 2,330 elephants have died on the tracks. The ‘bee sounds’ can be heard from 600 metres away, as the train approaches the vulnerable gangway.

This initiative is live at over 12 possible corridors and has earned the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the 2018-19 fiscal.

Elephants have been making their way into the non-migrant areas as well, leading to increased deaths. “NFR’s Rangiya Division and Forest Department field officials worked on certain deterrents and provide a solution to the problem,” NFR spokesperson Pranav Jyoti Sharma told The Hindu.

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