NHAI Not Keen On Wildlife Mitigation On NH-6
June 16, 2012: The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) locked horns over mitigation measures as suggested by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun.
At a meeting on Wednesday in Delhi, NHAI officials said the suggestions by WII were impractical and impossible to implement. The meeting was attended by NTCA member-secretary Rajesh Gopal, WII director P R Sinha, APCCF (wildlife) A K Saxena, Maharashtra, NHAI's V K Sharma, Wildlife Trust of India's (WTI) Ashok Kumar and others.
The WII had reviewed mitigation measures by NHAI after making field visit and had submitted a report to the NTCA last month. On NH-6, NHAI has been asked to construct underpasses for animals from 1 to 2 kms in length and 7 metres in height in stretches between Maramjob-Bahmni (4.150km), Bamhni-Duggipar (3.050km) and Sakoli-Mundipar (3.200km) falling between Bhandara and Gondia districts.
Apart from these, WII has also proposed two additional structures in completed patch between Sirpur-Nawatola (6.300km). These stretches will bifurcate wildlife corridors between Kanha, Pench, Navegaon, Nagzira and Tadoba protected areas (PAs).
Sources attending the meeting told TOI that NHAI officials expressed reluctance to implement the WII recommendations. They said underpasses such dimensions would cost too much and argued that in Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, crossovers of 6-metre height have been constructed for elephants. Read the full report here.
Source: Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN, Nagpur.