Stray cattle don reflective collars on NH-16 to curb accidents
The infra company started off by putting nylon collar belts on stray cattle near Chandikhol stretch.
BHUBANESWAR: In a novel initiative to reduce animal-related accidents on the national highway-16, stray cattle that trespass on the Bhubaneswar-Chandikhole route are being fastened with retro-reflective collar belts. The movement of cattle on the busy NH stretch, particularly during the night, has been causing frequent accidents leading to injuries and fatalities on both sides. The specially designed collar belts are equipped with reflective materials to enhance the visibility of the stray cattle during pitch-dark/low-light conditions.
The measure is being taken by the Shree Jagannath Expressways Pvt Ltd (SJEPL) to reduce collisions with animals as the reflective bands can be spotted by vehicle drivers from a distance. The infra company started off by putting nylon collar belts on stray cattle near the Chandikhol stretch. However, after Jajpur SP Vinit Agrawal suggested ensuring that the bovines do not suffer from any kind of infection, it introduced cotton collar belts with reflective bands. So far, about 312 retro-reflective collar belts have been put on the stray cattle. The SJEPL, a special purpose vehicle of Maple Highways under the National Highway Authority of India’s Bhubaneswar project management unit, has identified high-risk stretches like Chandikhol, Rajakana, Govindpur, Dalei Sahi, Tangi, Manguli, Birupa, Jagatpur, Gopalpur, Balikuda, Bhanpur, Pratap Nagari, Telengapentha, Bamphakuda, Rudrapur and Puri Canal road.
It has planned to put on retro-reflective collar belts on as many stray cattle as possible. The exact number will depend on the population of stray cattle in affected areas. “To ensure comprehensive coverage, our patrolling team is currently conducting a survey to determine the population of stray cattle in these areas with the help of traffic police and village panchayats,” said an official. The infra company intends to seek assistance from local administration and communities for the initiative. “We will work closely with local administrations like municipal corporations of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to conduct awareness campaigns and community meetings,” the official said. Maple Highways had earlier completed the acquisition of Shree Jagannath Expressway, a 67-km toll road from Bhubaneswar to Chandikhol.