Indian Railways introduce ‘buzzing bees’ to keep elephants away from train tracks

BCCL

  • Indian Railways launched ‘Plan Bee’ to prevent elephants getting hurt on rail tracks, thereby reducing the elephant death toll.
  • Bee sounds can be heard from 600 metres away, as the train approaches the vulnerable gangway.
  • Northeast Frontier Railway (NRF) has won ‘best innovation’ award in Indian Railways in 2018-19 along with a cash reward of ₹300,000.
  • The railways have included nearly 50 amplifying speaker systems at over 12 possible corridors.
Amid increasing number of elephant deaths in the country, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) came with an innovate ‘ plan bee’ to prevent their deaths on the tracks.

Nearly 2,330 elephants have died on the tracks in six years. And the initiative involves keeping them away from the tracks by scaring them.

As strange as it sounds, elephants are afraid of bees and the buzz of beehives. The Railways included nearly 50 amplifying speaker systems that produce sound of honey bees to keep wild elephants away.

This initiative is live at over 12 possible corridors, even as there are 29 elephant corridors under NFR. This move was recognised and accorded with ‘best innovation’ award in Indian Railways in 2018-19 along with a cash reward of ₹300,000.

The ‘bee sounds’ can be heard from 600 metres away, as the train approaches the vulnerable gangway.

Elephants have been making their way into the non-migrant areas as well, often 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.

As many as 67 elephants were killed by trains in Northeastern states of Assam and West Bengal, according to media reports. Assam forests are home to 6,000 elephants — accounting for 20% of the total elephant population in the country.

Given that, the NFR tested the amplifying device on the domestic and wild animals in 2017, before actually using it. Since 2014, the Northeastern railways have been able to keep 1,014 elephants safe by implementing such measures.

Elephant mishaps occur largely due to local humans, electric fences, and railway tracks. More elephants have been cut down by trains or died of electric shocks, instead of hunting. As many as 80 elephant deaths occurred due to human targeting.

See also:

Wildlife activists in India are outraged after Assam government decided to send 4 elephants by train on a stressful 3-day journey for a festival in Ahmedabad

Railways fixes water deluge in AC coaches after video goes viral

Union Budget 2019: Indian Railways has been opened up to private partnerships for faster development
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