A stretch of train tracks from between Diguvamettaa-Chelima railway station on the Guntur-Nandyal line of the Indian Railways in Andhra Pradesh has been proving fatal for the wildlife that lives around the vicinity. At least four o five animals have died on these tracks over the past one year. A carcass of a tigress was found on the track at Chelama forest range this week.
In the early hours of Tuesday, the forest department was alerted of a body of a dead tigress on the tracks near Nandyal. The body of the tigress was sent immediately for Post Mortem where they found the reason of death to be accidental. In recent years, the tiger population in the Gundla Bramheswaram wildlife sanctuary which falls under the Nandyal forest division has increased.
Chief conservator of forests Gopinath told Deccan Chronicle that this is exactly why a tiger corridor was established between Gundla Bramheswaram and Vontimitta in Kadapa district. Camera traps have been installed along the corridor to track the movement of big cats and other animals in the districts. The chief conservator also said that animals use a steep and narrow lane to cut through the reserve forest which is a deterrent to the defense mechanism of these animals.
Records state that one tigress, two panthers, and one bear died on the same stretch in the past year. It is because of this reason that studies are being conducted to reduce the speed of trains while crossing this part of the reserve forest. Gopinath said that a letter has been sent to the divisional manager at Guntur to consider this measure for trains passing the fatal 25 kilometer long stretch between Diguvametta and Chelima railway stations. While expressing concerns for the safety of animals crossing this stretch, environmentalists are hopeful that the railways and the forest department could work together to ensure that no more animal casualties are reported from this stretch.