A tusker was mowed down by a train at Damanpur in Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) on Tuesday.
It was around 7.35 am when Sampark Kranti Express hit the tusker near the 163/3 railway pillar in Damanpur forest, only 3 km from Alipurduar Junction station. Locals alleged that the driver could not apply the brakes even after hitting the jumbo due to high speed of the train. Its body was flung 250 m away due to the impact.
This is the second incident this year where an elephant has been mowed down by a train. In January, five jumbos were killed by the Guwahati-bound Jhaja Express at Madhugachh near Rajabhatkhawa in BTR .
The 168 km long track claims at least five elephants on an average every year and injures scores of other animals. Sources said in the past 12 years, since the conversion of the track into broad gauge, as many as 40 elephants have been mowed down by trains.
Though wildlife activists have requested the railways on several occasions to stop running trains on this stretch, nothing has been done till now.
Moreover, according to a court directive, the railway department needs to follow certain orders so that the tracks do not prove fatal for animals, but the norms are hardly followed.