GUWAHATI: Finally, the Assam government has worked out a solution to protect wild animals, which die after coming under the wheels of moving vehicles, at the Kaziranga National Park.
The state’s BJP-led government will construct a 36-km long flyover over a national highway that passes through the one-horned-famed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Forest Minister, Parimal Suklabaidya, said the flyover, which would have a breadth of 11 metres, would be constructed at a cost of around Rs.2625 crore. He said the construction work would begin from the next financial year.
“We have already assigned a Mumbai-based company to do the work. The DPR (Detailed Project Report) will be prepared within the next two months,” the minister said.
Once completed, this will possibly be India’s longest flyover. Officials of the park said the flyover would help secure the free movement of the animals.
“There are several animal corridors across the national highway. Once the flyover is built, the corridors, as well as the animals, will be secured,” Divisional Forest Officer, Rohini Ballav Saikia, told this newspaper.
As part of the eco-system, the park animals move towards the higher grounds in neighbouring Karbi Anglong district all throughout the year. The movement increases during the annual floods. In the process of escaping the floodwater, several of them, especially deer, get killed in vehicle hits.
This is the main reason why the government has decided to build the flyover. The project could also be strategic given the increasing attempts of the poachers to kill the rhinos. The locals in Kaziranga have welcomed the government’s move.
Kaziranga is home to the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Spread across the floodplains of the Brahmaputra, its forests, wetlands and grasslands are also home to a large number of tigers, elephants, deer, wild boars etc.