Faridabad expressway is death trap for wild animals | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Faridabad expressway is death trap for wild animals

The Gurgaon-Faridabad expressway that cuts through the eco-sensitive Aravali ranges is posing a danger to wildlife. Many wild animals which stray out of the forests come under the wheels of speeding vehicles as there is no mechanism to regulate the speed of the traffic on this road. Himabindu Reddy reports.

gurgaon Updated: Apr 24, 2013 01:10 IST
Himabindu Reddy

The Gurgaon-Faridabad expressway that cuts through the eco-sensitive Aravali ranges is posing a danger to wildlife. Many wild animals which stray out of the forests come under the wheels of speeding vehicles as there is no mechanism to regulate the speed of the traffic on this road.

According to animal rights activists, the frequency of such cases has been alarming ever since the inception of the 30-km long expressway.

"We get at least two to three calls a week informing us about accidents on the stretch. But very rarely that these animals survive. Unlike domesticated animals, wild animals are not accustomed to traffic," said Amit Chaudhery, president of People for Animals (PFA). The NGO's rescue shelter is located at Sabhrana, about 45km from Gurgaon.

Activists said most of the accidents take place in the night and early morning and animals such as Nilgai, foxes, mongoose, peacocks and jackals come under the wheels of vehicles.

What adds to the problem is that the expressway doesn't have streetlights nor a wildlife corridor for these animals to cross onto the other side.

"When the expressway was being built, authorities should have made a provision for a wildlife corridor, either over-head or underground. There was no permission or advice sought from the wildlife department for this project. This was mandatory as it cuts through the wildlife habitat. In any such future infrastructure projects provisions have to be made for the wildlife to avoid them the harm," said Vinod Kumar, wildlife conservator.

He added that although the concept of wildlife corridor is prevalent abroad, there are no such dedicated tracks for wildlife in India.

In addition, Mangar, a dense forest area where animal presence is high, is just 10km away from the expressway. "There is no chance for a corridor to come up now. The only way out is fencing. The Nilgai is a huge animal and may attack humans also. Usually they go into the forest and die, unlike other smaller animals," said Sanjay Kaushik, founder of an environmental NGO, Uthaan.

According to experts, accident cases increase during the summer because the animals come out of the forest for water and food. "Central medians on these expressways are irrigated during the peak months of May and June to maintain the greenery," explained Kaushik.

In an accident at Manesar in 2009, a female leopard, along with two cubs, was hit by a speeding truck. No agency has the count of number of animal casualties on this stretch.