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NFR�s plan �bee� for keeping jumbos off tracks wins award

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GUWAHATI, July 10 - The system developed by Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) to keep wild elephants away from crossing the railway tracks by playing the amplified sound of buzzing of honey bees has won the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the year 2018-19.

The first prize comprises a citation along with a cash award of Rs three lakh.

NFR has received a formal letter from the Ministry of Railways regarding the award, which will be handed over at a future date during a national-level ceremony.

�With a large portion of its track passing through vast areas of forest land, which are home to various wild animals, including elephants, NFR has been facing the serious problem of elephant dashing, posing a threat both to the trains and the elephant population in the vicinity of tracks. Although there are as many as 29 earmarked corridors where trains slow down and signs are fixed for drivers to observe the speed restrictions, elephants have ventured into the path of trains even in the non-corridor areas, often leading to accidents resulting in elephant deaths,� said Pranav Jyoti Sharma, NFR�s Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO).

A total of 67 elephants were knocked down in train-elephant dashing during the period from January 2013 to June 2019.

Desperate to find a way to tackle the problem, Rangiya division field officers, in consultation with their Forest Department counterparts, worked on the idea of using certain deterrents to repel elephants from the tracks.

In 2017, the then Divisional Railway Manager Ravilesh Kumar took the lead to form a team comprising senior officials, which carried out the first testing of honey bee buzz on a pet elephant at Rangapara.

�When the second testing was conducted in Phulbari Tea Estate under Rangiya Division, it was found that the wild elephant started moving away once the honey bee sound was generated. Following the successful trial, an equipment was designed to generate amplified sound of honey bee audible from a distance of about 700 to 800 metre. The first instrument was installed at the level-crossing gate NN-274 between Azara and Kamakhya stations under Rangiya Division. Finding the results very encouraging, the instrument was installed in many level-crossing gates in the zone located in the vicinity of forest areas,� Sharma said.

Presently, 46 such equipment have been installed all over the NFR zone.

�The gatemen posted in the level-crossing gates, where the device has been installed, claim that its use is very helpful to divert herds of elephants, especially when trains are approaching and dashing becomes imminent,� said the NFR CPRO.

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NFR�s plan �bee� for keeping jumbos off tracks wins award

GUWAHATI, July 10 - The system developed by Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) to keep wild elephants away from crossing the railway tracks by playing the amplified sound of buzzing of honey bees has won the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the year 2018-19.

The first prize comprises a citation along with a cash award of Rs three lakh.

NFR has received a formal letter from the Ministry of Railways regarding the award, which will be handed over at a future date during a national-level ceremony.

�With a large portion of its track passing through vast areas of forest land, which are home to various wild animals, including elephants, NFR has been facing the serious problem of elephant dashing, posing a threat both to the trains and the elephant population in the vicinity of tracks. Although there are as many as 29 earmarked corridors where trains slow down and signs are fixed for drivers to observe the speed restrictions, elephants have ventured into the path of trains even in the non-corridor areas, often leading to accidents resulting in elephant deaths,� said Pranav Jyoti Sharma, NFR�s Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO).

A total of 67 elephants were knocked down in train-elephant dashing during the period from January 2013 to June 2019.

Desperate to find a way to tackle the problem, Rangiya division field officers, in consultation with their Forest Department counterparts, worked on the idea of using certain deterrents to repel elephants from the tracks.

In 2017, the then Divisional Railway Manager Ravilesh Kumar took the lead to form a team comprising senior officials, which carried out the first testing of honey bee buzz on a pet elephant at Rangapara.

�When the second testing was conducted in Phulbari Tea Estate under Rangiya Division, it was found that the wild elephant started moving away once the honey bee sound was generated. Following the successful trial, an equipment was designed to generate amplified sound of honey bee audible from a distance of about 700 to 800 metre. The first instrument was installed at the level-crossing gate NN-274 between Azara and Kamakhya stations under Rangiya Division. Finding the results very encouraging, the instrument was installed in many level-crossing gates in the zone located in the vicinity of forest areas,� Sharma said.

Presently, 46 such equipment have been installed all over the NFR zone.

�The gatemen posted in the level-crossing gates, where the device has been installed, claim that its use is very helpful to divert herds of elephants, especially when trains are approaching and dashing becomes imminent,� said the NFR CPRO.

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