New Delhi, March 4: The Supreme Court Monday issued notice on a petition seeking directions to the central and 10 state governments to take steps to prevent deaths of elephants on railway tracks that pass through their habitats.
The apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra issued notice as senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that except for issuing advisories, the railways had not done enough for protecting the elephants.
Seeking guidelines and directions from the court, Singhvi disputed the official figures putting the death toll of elephants at 110 in the last five years.
As many as 500 elephants had died due to such accidents in last five years, Singhvi told the court.
He sought framing and enforcement of procedures and mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of elephants.
Besides the central government, the court issued notice to Assam, Odisha, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
The petition by Odisha-based journalist Shakti Prasad Nayak said that railways had failed in adopting “a sound policy to avoid frequent killing of elephants by electrocution or speeding trains in different parts of the country”.