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Electronic surveillance of tiger movement to be put in place

NEW DELHI: Government will put in place safeguards including 'e-surveillance' of tiger movement for preventing the death of big cats due to train hits. 

The decision was taken at a recent meeting of senior officials from railway board and environment ministry convened by environment minister 
Jayanthi Natarajan in the wake of such acasualty reported recently near Chandrapur, Maharashtra, officials said. 

In the meeting, the country-level status on tiger deaths due to train hits was reviewed and the on-going tiger monitoring protocol adopted in the field. 

According to sources, the government has decided to identify sensitive habitats in Gondia-Chandrapur railway sector, based on the ongoing Phase-IV monitoring using camera traps and other methods. 

The meeting also decided to put in place a system for sharing of "tiger spatial use data" in advance between Forest Department and the Railways through wireless on a day-to-day basis, with monthly joint review by senior officials of Railway and Forests at the division level. 

The speed limit of trains will be restricted to 40km per hour in Gondia-Chandrapur sector and "e-surveillance" of tiger movement using 24X7, intelligent, thermal cameras at sensitive points (near railway tracks) will be facilitated. 

It has also been decided to organise wildlife sensitization workshops for railway personnel. 

Officials from 
the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will take lessons on tiger and wildlife.

Times of India (22-04-2013)