Kanhai Singh, a resident of the Ledgain village in the Latehar district of Jharkhand, has been suffering sleepless nights. He has nightmares of wild elephants ravaging his crops and damaging his house, elephants forced out of the nearby Palamu Tiger Reserve by the widening of the rail line inside the forest.
The 45-year-old farmer has been urging the authorities to shift the 97-year-old existing double track to ensure the safety of wildlife and of villagers living close by. Local officials of the forest department have urged the same and have pointed out that the measure would save a lot of money too. But despite these objections, the railways managers are adding a third track to the 291-km rail line, which was built in 1924 from Patratu to Son Nagar to carry coal. They do not have permission to lay the track over the 11-km stretch of the line that lies within the Palamu Tiger Reserve but are going ahead with the rest of the work.
The complete article was published by Scroll In on March 16, 2021.