NGT tells NHAI to construct flyovers along Rajaji in 12 months
Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII), in a study conducted in 2017 named ‘Impact of national highways on wildlife in the Haridwar Forest division’, had recorded 222 deaths of wild animals on National Highway-74 which connects Dehradun to Haridwar.Updated: Mar 28, 2019 19:32 IST
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday directed National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to complete construction of flyovers on National Highway-74 adjoining Rajaji Tiger Reserve within 12 months.
The green tribunal was hearing a petition on wildlife mortality on the highway. The principle bench headed by Justice AK Goel, chairman of NGT, issued the directions while hearing the petition filed by Delhi-based advocate Gaurav Bansal.
The court also directed the Uttarakhand government, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), to take necessary actions to prevent road-kill in the area. It directed the state government to submit its objections within three weeks on the draft Tiger Conservation Plan proposed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in January this year.
Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII), in a study conducted in 2017 named ‘Impact of national highways on wildlife in the Haridwar Forest division’, had recorded 222 deaths of wild animals on National Highway-74 which connects Dehradun to Haridwar.
The WII had identified three hotspots of road-kill in the division and suggested construction of a flyover in those areas. The hotspots identified by WII are Chandi Bridge to Tedhi puliya, Peeli River to Rawasan River and Gendikhata to Chidiyapur.
The report also mentions that around 26 leopards were killed over the last 10 years on the 30 km stretch of this highway, which passes through Shyampur, Rasiyaba and Chidiyapur forest ranges of Haridwar division. This stretch is also contiguous with the eastern part of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
“In the identified stretches, construction of flyovers can help wildlife move underneath the structure while vehicles can pass unhindered over the flyover,” the study said.
Speaking on the case, petitioner Bansal said, “As per the observations of WII, the NTCA had also agreed that there should be a flyover to reduce road kill. There is an ongoing construction of road on NH-74, which is the road where maximum road-kills were recorded. We do not have any problems with the construction, but it should not be at the cost of wildlife mortality.”
During the hearing, NHAI counsel informed the green tribunal, that in order to curb road-kill, the national highway construction body will float tenders to build two flyovers with length of 290 meters and 1,200 meter, which would be completed within one year.
First Published: Mar 28, 2019 19:32 IST