To prevent death of elephants due to train hits, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has decided to install intrusion detection systems (IDS) at the sensitive locations of elephant passing zones and elephant corridors in Odisha.
IDS is based on artificial intelligence (AI) and existing optical fibres will be used as sensors to identify movements of elephants at locations and alert control offices, station masters, gatemen and loco pilots.
It uses the fibre optic based acoustic system to sense real time presence of elephants on the track. The AI-based system can monitor unusual movement up to a stretch of 60 km, said railway sources.
“The system will help in locating and detecting the presence of elephants near the track so that speed of the trains in the sections will be reduced. IDS will send alarms to the loco pilot unit via SMS/internet with GPS tag, providing real time information about the location of elephants,” said an ECoR official.
The detection system will work as an early warning system for elephant intrusion.
IDS will also help in detecting rail fracture, trespassing on railway track and alert about disaster mitigation due to unauthorised digging near railway tracks, landslides near tracks. The North East Frontier railway has already installed the IDS that helps avert train-elephant collisions following the success of a pilot project.
Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, after coming across the system, directed all zones to adopt the measures to prevent death of wild animals due to train-hits. The ECoR got over Rs 79 crore for installing the IDS system, said official sources.
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Six railway sections consisting a 200 km stretch under Sambalpur and Khurda Road divisions will have the IDS system in the first phase.
According to ECoR, Maneswar-Bamur, Turekela-Lakhna, Arand-Arang Mahanadi, Norla-Theruvali under Sambalpur division and Kapilas Road-Rajathgarh-Angul, Rambha-Ganjam and Nayagarh-Porjanpur railway section under Khurda Road railway division would get the IDS system.
According to official data, as many as 784 jumbos died in Odisha during 2012-13 to 2021-22 due to various reasons while electrocution and train-hits are considered among the key reasons. Similarly, 925 persons were trampled to death by tuskers while 212 persons were permanently disabled during the period.