Sri Lanka Initiates Construction on First Wildlife Tunnel to Tackle Elephant-Train Collisions

    Galgamuwa, Gatadivula – Sri Lanka has taken a groundbreaking step towards wildlife conservation by starting the construction of its first wildlife tunnel aimed at preventing elephant-train collisions, a pressing issue that has resulted in significant wildlife loss and safety risks on the railways.

    Project Launch: A Response to Wildlife Safety Concerns

    The project, which broke ground on March 1 in the Kasikota area of Galgamuwa, Gatadivula, is part of the government’s effort to address the increasing incidents of train collisions with wild elephants. The Transport and Highways Ministry announced that this initiative is crucial for the protection of approximately 200 wild elephants that have fallen victim to train accidents in recent years.


    Collaboration for Conservation

    This pioneering project is the result of collaboration between various government and non-government organizations, aiming to ensure both the safety of Sri Lanka’s elephant population and the integrity of its railway infrastructure. Initially considered for an old culvert’s refurbishment, the plan shifted towards constructing a new tunnel at ‘Alimankada’ due to technical challenges, underlining the project’s innovative approach.

    Sri Lanka Initiates Construction on First Wildlife Tunnel to Tackle Elephant-Train Collisions

    Addressing the Conflict Between Wildlife and Railways

    The wildlife tunnel project emerges as a critical solution to the ongoing conflict between wildlife conservation and railway safety. With between 150 and 200 wild elephants having lost their lives in train collisions over recent years, the urgency of such an intervention has become increasingly apparent.

    A United Effort Towards Safeguarding Wildlife

    Highlighting the significance of collaborative efforts in conservation, the project not only aims to protect elephants but also to prevent accidents that could harm railway passengers and cause property damage. Supported financially by the Indian Credit Line, this initiative is part of the broader Maho-Omanthai Railway Development Project.

    Setting a Precedent for Future Conservation Projects

    By integrating ecological considerations into its infrastructure projects, Sri Lanka sets a global precedent for the harmonious coexistence of wildlife and human development. The successful implementation of this wildlife tunnel promises to inspire similar conservation efforts worldwide, reinforcing the importance of sustainable development.

    As construction begins, Sri Lanka moves closer to solving a longstanding issue that has marred its wildlife conservation efforts and railway safety. This initiative marks a significant advancement in the country’s approach to protecting its natural heritage while ensuring the safety of its citizens and infrastructure.