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Flyover Plans for Kaziranga

Flyover Plans for Kaziranga
A group of elephants inside Kaziranga National Park, Photo Credit: Mike Prince / flickr

Animal collisions are common in the stretch of National Highway 37 that passes through Kaziranga National Park. The apparent solution? A 35-kilometre flyover

OT Staff
September 11 , 2019
01 Min Read

Hindustan Times has reported that to protect wildlife in Kaziranga’s National Park from being hit by vehicles, the Centre plans to construct a 35-kilometre flyover that will span over National Highway 37, which currently passes through the park. It will be split into three segments, with the first expected to be around 18 kilometres. Once complete, it could emerge as India’s longest flyover. 

Natural animal corridors intersect with NH-37 inside Kaziranga, and collisions with motorists are common, especially during the monsoons. Forest denizens like elephants, swamp deer, tigers and the famed one-horned rhino are known to flee to areas with higher ground during the park’s infamous annual flooding. When they cross NH37 to reach places like the nearby Karbi Anglong district, the chances of an accident rise significantly. 

Elephant grass and marshland habitats inside the park

The move is currently being called a win-win situation. Since the existing highway can’t be diverted, the flyover will benefit motorists who don’t want to slow down inside the park, or simply wish to bypass it. Animals, in turn, get safe passage. However, noise and pollution is inevitable during the construction process. The presence of several workers day and night, along with their heavy machinery, is a given. This increase in human interference is bound to have a negative effect on the park’s inhabitants. 

Kaziranga’s director P Sivakumar revealed that the flyover’s proposed alignment was prepared by the Wildlife Institute of India. The venture, which is in coordination with the National Green Tribunal, multiple wildlife authorities and the Assam government, is still in the planning phase, as the National Highways Authority of India prepares its detailed project report. Construction is expected to start next year.

 


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