Indian Railways Launches ‘Plan Bee’ to Save Elephants From Being Hit by Speeding Trains; All You Need to Know About the New Initiative
Indian Railways Launches ‘Plan Bee’ to Save Elephants From Being Hit by Speeding Trains; All You Need to Know About the New Initiative (Photo Credits: PTI)

Guwahati, Sep 12: In a bid to keep elephants at a distance from railway tracks, Indian Railways has launched "Plan Bee", an initiative to help stop elephants from being hit by trains. Under the initiative, a device has been installed near the railway tracks in Guwahati, which mimics the humming of a swarm of bees to keep elephants off the tracks to avert accidents.

As elephants don’t like the buzz of swarming honeybees, they move away from tracks. An official was quoted by ANI saying that they play a recording of the buzz of honeybees which is amplified by a speaker.

Speeding trains crashing into elephants has been a serious concern and to solve this issue, the Indian Railways has come up with an interesting solution- The Plan Bee at a meagre cost. These life-saving devices cost Indian Railways only Rs 2,000 per device! Through this device, the buzzing sound of bees is audible from a distance of 600 metres.

What is the 'Plan Bee' initiative:

The idea to use the buzz of bees as a deterrent to keep elephants away from the tracks came after the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Assam’s Ranigya Station suggested that the elephants can be distracted by some particular sound or frequency when a train is passing through the elephant corridor. Based on this idea, an instrument, costing just Rs 2,000, was built that generated the high, continuous buzzing of honey bees that can go beyond 300 to 400 meters.

How does the device work:

The device amplifies the buzz of swarming honeybees, which is considered as a natural nemesis of elephants and is audible to elephants 600 meters away and thus helps them in keeping away from the tracks.

The “Plan Bee” was launched in November 2017 to stop elephants from being hit by speeding trains in the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR). The initiative has been a great success as the number of casualties has gone down drastically. According to a report by IANS, after the success of the instrument, it was first installed between the Azara-Kamakhya stations in Assam and in its first month about five probable elephant-train accidents were averted.

The installation of these devices has also resulted in protecting the railway infrastructure in the area.  At present,  11 such devices have been installed by the railways in the elephant corridor of the NFR division.