Plea on forest zone trains

Calcutta, Feb 1: Actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty has filed a PIL in Calcutta High Court today demanding that the railways in north Bengal stop running trains on broad-gauge lines between Siliguri and Alipurduar from dusk to dawn so that elephants are not run over.

Along with the actor, who has played Feluda, the co-petitioners were Colonel Saktiranjan Banerjee, wildlife photographer Hirak Nandi and two other persons.

A Calcutta High Court source said the PIL was likely to come up for hearing before the division bench headed by Chief Justice A.K. Mishra next week.

The petitioners said between 1974 and 2005, 17 elephants were killed in forests along the railway lines between Siliguri and Alipurduar. But between 2005 and 2013, 39 elephants died after being run over by trains.

"All the killings have taken place at night. The railways should stop the running of trains on the broad-gauge lines from dusk to dawn," the plea said.

The petitioners said the railways could make meter-gauge lines, which could be laid outside the jungle, a a double line and could pass more trains from Mal to Alipurduar through that line.


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