Long road for Kandi project to see light of daydehradun Updated: Jul 01, 2017 19:53 IST
A view of the spot from where Kandi Road will be developed. (HT Photo)
The Uttarakhand government wants to expedite its ambitious Kandi Road project but the road ahead is a serpentine one subject to clearances of various state and central agencies before work finally begins.
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had announced the project soon after he took over the reins of Uttarakhand in March. Closed for traffic, the unmetalled passes through the Corbett Tiger Reserve and brings down time taken to travel between Garhwal and Kumaon.
Several agencies will evaluate the road project that has divided opinions between pro-development and pro-conservation camps. Conservation proponents fear that the road, once it comes up, will act as a barrier for the movement of wildlife. But the government promises to execute the project in such a way that it won’t disturb wildlife in the reserve.
The first permission is needed from the State Board for Wildlife (SBWL), which is yet to be constituted. Subsequently, the proposal will be forwarded to the National Tiger Conservation (NTCA) for approval, then to the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and eventually to the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC).
“The project does not disturb tiger habitat. So, we hope there won’t be any problem in getting clearances from various agencies. However, it might take some time as the process of tedious,” Anup Mallik, nodal officer of the project told Hindustan Times on Saturday.
Sources said SS Negi, former director general, forest, MoEFCC, will become the torch bearer for the Uttarakhand government in getting clearance from various ends.
The project is challenging as the road passes through Corbett’s boundary adjoining Amangarh in Uttar Pradesh. Amangarh is believed to act as a buffer of the reserve. Of the total 88 km long road, about 22 km passes through the reserve of which 10 km pass through the patch with thick forest on either sides.
Given the high chances of tiger movement, the government will seek support from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for developing the road. The onus would be on to take eco-friendly steps for movement of animals. The plan is to hand over the work to the Uttarakhand Ecotourism Board, which promises to rope in an international agency for adopting green initiative in construction of the road.