Linear infra projects must have wildlife passage plan
The minutes of the meeting said while designing infrastructure projects inside protected areas and notified eco-sensitive zones, guidelines of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have to be followed.mumbai Updated: Feb 13, 2018 01:23 IST
Future linear infrastructure projects such as multiple lane roads, highways, canals and railway lines passing through national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and all other protected areas will now have an animal passage plan as part of the project proposal said the standing committee of the national board for wildlife (NBWL) during its 47th meeting.
The minutes of the meeting said while designing infrastructure projects inside protected areas and notified eco-sensitive zones, guidelines of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) regarding mitigating impacts on wildlife through the construction of overpasses, underpasses, bridges, culverts, fences, installation of wildlife detection system or animal response altering mechanisms, needs to be considered.
“Separate budgetary allocation for animal passage needs to be done and before going ahead with it, the details need to be approved by NBWL,” said HS Singh, member of the board, adding that the plan needs to be made in consultation with the state chief wildlife warden. HT had reported that India recorded 665 deaths from 2012 to 2017 due to rail (234 deaths) and road kills (431 deaths).
“For every new project passing even 10-15 kms away from wildlife zones, we have already constituted plans for the development of underpasses and overpasses,” said B Mukhopadhyay, general manager, environment, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).