How an Intrusion Detection System Saved an Elephant’s Life on Tracks ?

Detection System Saved an Elephant’s Life on Tracks

Elephants are majestic creatures that play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of their habitats. However, they are also facing many threats from human activities such as habitat loss, poaching, and train collisions.

According to the Wildlife Trust of India, India has the largest population of Asian elephants in the world, with around 27,000 individuals. However, it also has one of the highest rates of human-elephant conflict, with over 500 elephants and 2,300 people killed every year.

One of the major causes of human-elephant conflict is train accidents. India has a vast network of railway tracks that often pass through forest areas and elephant corridors. These are natural pathways that elephants use to migrate and access food and water sources. However, when trains run on these tracks, they pose a serious risk to the elephants that may cross them.

According to a report by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 186 elephants were killed by trains between 2009 and 2019 in India. The highest number of deaths occurred in Assam, where 67 elephants died in train accidents.

To prevent such tragedies and save elephant lives, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has come up with an innovative solution: an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that alerts train drivers whenever an elephant approaches railway tracks.

The Intrusion Detection System is an artificial intelligence-based system that uses infrared sensors and cameras to detect any movement near railway tracks. The sensors and cameras are installed at strategic locations along the tracks where elephant movement is frequent. The system then sends signals to a control room that monitors the situation and informs the train driver through radio communication.

The Intrusion Detection System was implemented in a stretch of railway track in Assam that passes through two elephant corridors: Deepor Beel-Kamakhya and Digaru-Hojai. The project was completed in March 2023 with a budget of Rs 2 crore and won the PMI South Asia Award for ‘Micro Project of the Year’.

The Intrusion Detection System has proved to be very effective in preventing train-elephant collisions. Since its installation, no elephant deaths have been reported on the tracks where the system is operational. The system has also helped to reduce the speed of trains and improve their punctuality.

The Intrusion Detection System is a remarkable example of how technology can help save wildlife from human interference. It is a win-win situation for both elephants and humans, as it ensures the safety and conservation of elephants while also reducing the loss of life and property for humans.

The NFR plans to extend the Intrusion Detection System to other railway zones where elephant movement is high, such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu. The IDS is a model project that can inspire other countries with similar problems to adopt similar solutions.

Leave a Comment