Tue. May 28th, 2024
"Utilizing AI-Powered Surveillance, Elephant Fatalities Cease Due to Trains in the Northeast"

“Utilizing AI-Powered Surveillance, Elephant Fatalities Cease Due to Trains in the Northeast”

"Utilizing AI-Powered Surveillance, Elephant Fatalities Cease Due to Trains in the Northeast"
“Utilizing AI-Powered Surveillance, Elephant Fatalities Cease Due to Trains in the Northeast”

 

New Delhi: In a remarkable stride toward preserving elephant lives, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has introduced an AI-based surveillance system within 11 crucial elephant corridors in the northeast region. This groundbreaking initiative has successfully put an end to tragic elephant fatalities caused by train collisions in these areas. An official from the NFR has revealed that the railway authority is now gearing up to expand this life-saving technology throughout the entire railway zone.

The Intrusion Detection System (IDS) made its debut under the purview of the Northeast Frontier Railway in December 2022, strategically implemented across 11 elephant corridors. These corridors included five in the Alipurduar division and six in the Lumding division.

According to NFR reports, during the eight months from its launch in December 2022 to July of the following year, the IDS has issued an astounding total of 9,768 alerts, averaging 41 alerts per day. This system operates seamlessly, generating alerts to train controllers, station masters, train drivers, and other stakeholders the moment an elephant sets foot on the tracks. These timely alerts enable swift precautionary measures, preventing imminent dangers.

"Utilizing AI-Powered Surveillance, Elephant Fatalities Cease Due to Trains in the Northeast"
“Utilizing AI-Powered Surveillance, Elephant Fatalities Cease Due to Trains in the Northeast”

Sabyasachi De, the Chief Public Relations Officer of NFR, disclosed that the pilot project’s implementation came at a cost of approximately ₹6 crore. Since the IDS was put into action, there have been no reported train-elephant collisions within these 11 corridors.

Government statistics highlight the alarming reality that an average of 20 elephants lose their lives due to train collisions in India each year, with a significant portion of these unfortunate incidents occurring within the Northeast Frontier Railway’s jurisdiction.

The success of the IDS system provides a ray of hope, signifying that these heart-wrenching accidents could soon become a thing of the past. Officials assert that the existing optical fiber cable (OFC) network laid beneath the tracks for telecommunication and signaling purposes has proved instrumental in implementing the IDS.

This innovative device, integrated into the OFC network, detects vibrations when an elephant approaches the tracks, instantly transmitting real-time alerts to the division control room and a mobile application. Remarkably, the system can detect and pinpoint moving elephants up to a distance of 5 meters from the fiber optical cable.

Mr. De emphasized that there are a total of 80 elephant corridors within the Northeast region. Given the IDS’s astounding 100 percent success rate, the zonal railway has decided to introduce this life-saving technology to other corridors as well. The Railway Ministry has sanctioned ₹77 crore for this expansion.

The IDS system owes its inception to Anshul Gupta, the former General Manager of NFR, who first encountered this technology 13 years ago during a visit to London. Gupta’s vision led to two experimental trials in 2011 and 2016 in different railway divisions, but it was not until December 2022 that the project was successfully launched within the 11 crucial corridors. Gupta retired in March 2023, passing the baton to Rajiv Mahajan, who was the Chief Administrative Officer of Project (Mechanical) at that time and played a pivotal role in overseeing and executing the project. Mahajan currently serves as the Senior Deputy General Manager (SDGM) in the NFR.

In recognition of its groundbreaking contribution to preserving elephant lives, the “Intrusion Detection System for saving elephant lives” earned the Northeast Frontier Railway the prestigious PMI South Asia Award for Micro Project of the Year. This historic accolade marks the first time any zonal railway under the Ministry of Railways has received this award since its inception in 2009, as proudly announced by Mr. De.

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