SUBJECT :In the days preceding the move, the forest department reached out to several experts in the state to weigh in on the matter. Despite warnings and dissuasion, the government has given the green signal. 

The elephants will travel from Tinsukia to Guwahati to Ahmedabad by train. Representative image.  (Dasarath Deka/Express Archive)

Guwahati, June 20, 2019: Four captive elephants will undertake a perilous 70-hour journey from Assam to Gujarat to take part in a religious function in Ahmedabad. The Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad which hosts the annual rath yatra, has sought these elephants to fill in for those that died last year.

While the date of travel remains unclear, sources from the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) have confirmed that they received an application on Tuesday to transport the four pachyderms from Tinsukia in Upper Assam to Ahmedabad, along with an advance of Rs 1,500.

The elephants will be taken in a VP coach (a closed non-AC wagon roughly the size of passenger coach usually used to transport goods) which will be attached to a passenger train. The NFR officials confirm that there will be provisions of water and a vet will be accompanying the animals on board.

This move, confirmed in a transit permit order issued by Assam’s Chief Conservator of Forest (Jorhat circle) Ranjan Kumar Das and signed by the Chief Wildlife Warden and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ranjana Gupta, has drawn the ire of wildlife activists across the state.

Source: Sikkim Express