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Gajraj System: AI-Based Elephant Protection on Indian Railways

The Indian Railways has initiated a pioneering step towards wildlife conservation by deploying the “Gajraj system,” an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solution designed to prevent elephant fatalities on railway tracks. This surveillance system is being implemented along a 700-kilometer stretch in forest areas to alert locomotive pilots of elephants’ presence on the tracks, thereby mitigating the risk of collisions.

Project Overview

Implementation and Cost

  • Total Stretch: 700 kilometers
  • Implementation Cost: ₹181 crore

Initial Deployment and Effectiveness

  • Initial Deployment: 150-kilometer stretch in Assam (Last Year)
  • Effectiveness: The system proved notably effective in its initial deployment, with improvements based on field experience.

Success in the Northeast Frontier Railway

  • Deployment: Across 11 elephant corridors in the Northeast
  • Outcome: Successful eradication of elephant fatalities due to train collisions since its deployment

Technology and Accuracy

  • System Name: Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
  • Accuracy: 99.5% in detecting elephant presence on tracks
  • Deployment Date: December 2022
  • Components: Sensors to identify the movement of wild animals
  • Alert Recipients: Control offices, station masters, gatemen, and loco pilots
  • Alerts Issued: 9,768 alerts from December 2022 to July, averaging 41 alerts daily
  • Zero Collisions: No train-elephant collisions reported in the 11 corridors since deployment

Mechanism of Operation

How It Works

Detection: When an elephant steps onto the track, the system detects the presence.
Alert Issuance: Alerts are sent to the train controller, station master, train drivers, and other stakeholders.
Precautionary Actions: Prompted actions are taken to prevent potential dangers.

Technical Details

  • Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) Usage: Deployed by the railways for telecommunication and signaling.
  • Integration with OFC: The device is embedded within the OFC network.
  • Vibration Detection: Captures vibrations caused by elephants on the tracks.
  • Real-Time Alerts: Transmits alerts to the division control room and a mobile application.
  • Detection Radius: Effective within a 5-meter radius from the fiber optic cable.

Conclusion

The Gajraj system exemplifies a significant stride in utilizing advanced technology for wildlife conservation. By effectively detecting and preventing potential train-elephant collisions, the Indian Railways not only ensures the safety of its operations but also plays a crucial role in preserving India’s wildlife heritage.

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