Construction of an Overpass Would Help Curb Animal Accidents at Kaziranga, Assam

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The Central government, the Assam government, the National Green Tribunal and other wildlife authorities have drafted a plan to build a 35km overpass on the National Highway 37 (NH 37). This will run through the Kaziranga National Park. The flyover will be divided into three segments, with the first one being 18kms – the longest the country has built. One of the main reasons to build this 2600 crore project is to protect animals from being hit by vehicles traveling through the NH 37.

The Kaziranga National Park is a diverse habitat to many wild animals, i.e. populations of 35 mammalian species, including the one-horned Rhino, Royal Bengal Tigers, the Asian Elephants, Wild Water Buffaloes and the Swamp Deer, who are jointly called the ‘Big Five’ of Kaziranga. 15 of the entire 35 mammalian populations are endangered species and are listed on the IUCN Red List.

The 11m wide and 35 km long overpass will be constructed for those vehicles that do not plan to halt at the Kaziranga National Park. That being said, there is no change in the route as travelers will still have to make their way through Kaziranga via NH37.

The 2019 floods in the national park killed almost 200 animals. While 17  four-legged animals were trying to escape the catastrophe, they were hit by vehicles crossing the NH 37.

Owing to the seriousness of the issue and while speaking to the Hindustan Times, Assam Forest Minister, Parimal Suklabaidya said, “The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is preparing the detailed project report (DPR) at present. The work on DPR is expected to be over within the next two months. Once that is done, the tender process would begin and work on the project is expected to start from the next year.”

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About the Author: Netra Venkateshwaran

Anchor & Correspondent • A part time journalist but a full time animal lover. Netra is an avid traveler, a caffeine addict and a food enthusiast. She also has a keen interest in fashion and luxury designer wear!

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