Elephant Overpass

Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Railway: First Elephant Overpass in South Asia

Elephants will move above and trains will pass below. South Asia’s first amazing elephant overpass, 9.5 meters high and 139 meters wide, has been constructed at Chunti Wildlife Sanctuary on the Lohagara edge of Chittagong on the government’s mega project Dohazari Cox’s Bazar railway line. The construction of the overpass has already been completed. Safety barriers are being constructed on both sides of the railway line. Locals are constantly flocking to see the wonderful overpass.

The 100 km railway line from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar passes through three floodplain sanctuaries at Chunti, Phansiakhali and Medhakachpia. About 10 km of it falls inside the sanctuary. Three underpasses and one overpass have been constructed in this section.

Following the demands of environmentalist organizations, elephant overpasses and underpasses were constructed inside the forest to mark the path of elephant movement. Railway related authorities claim that Bangladesh is the first such establishment in South Asia.

Harunor Rashid, project engineer of Tama Construction, the contractor for the implementation of the railway project, said that the work on the Elephant Overpass has been completed. The first such facility was built in South Asia. The Elephant Overpass has been constructed in such a way that elephants can move freely. Besides, security barriers are being constructed on both sides.

Chunati Wildlife Range Officer Mahmud Hossain said that elephants have been overpassed by reviewing the place of movement of elephants for more than two years through CC cameras. About 20 species of saplings have been planted on the overpass, including banana, a favorite of elephants.

According to the construction workers, the construction of Elephant Overpass is almost complete. Now there are some final stages left, which will be completed before the test train runs. These sanctuaries are known as elephant migration routes. Therefore, 20 species of trees including banana, walnut, jackfruit have been planted naturally on the overpass. Elephant overpass in the forest is mainly done in view of the demand of environmentalist organizations.

Locals say that such an overpass for elephants has never been seen before. As a result there is a distinct interest in watching it. Again, he has already started moving elephants through the overpass. Environmental organization IUCN
has identified 7 permanent and 8 temporary elephant movement corridors within the 100 km railway. An experimental train will run from Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar on November 02 through this route.

News Source: Bhorer Kagoj

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