COIMBATORE: As part of constructing a high-level flyover to facilitate free access for wild animals especially elephants underpass of the proposed flyover, Tamil Nadu forest Minister K Ramachandran and PWD Minister E V Velu jointly conducted field inspection at Kallar in Mettupalayam - Ooty national highway on Monday.
After conducting field visits, the state ministers have decided to approach the Union government's Ministry of Road Transport and Highways seeking fund support to carry out the wildlife friendly project and in this regard, a detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared by the National Highways wing of the State highways department.
EV Velu said "Mettupalayam - Ooty National Highway is located on the Kallar which is one of the crucial elephant corridors in the district and on the foothills of Nilgiris district of Western Ghats. The elephants moves between southern parts of ( Mettupalayam, Karamdai and Anaikatti etc) in Coimbatore division and Sathymangalam Tiger Reserve. Likewise, in a study, The Wildlife Trust of India has listed Kallar as one of the corridors with "high" ecological priority.
"Nearly 10,000 vehicles are passing on this route and sometimes the vehicular movement disturbs the free movement of elephants. Steps will be taken to construct a high level flyover for 2.4 km without making any hurdles to the motorists since the flyover has been proposed on the hill road and thus helps the elephants can move freely on the underpass of the flyover," he said
Likewise, the minister has also inaugurated solar powered automatic Sensor Horns with display which was setup on the trail basis at the first hairpin bend (starting point of first hairpin bend and end point of first hairpin bend) to inform the motorists (heading to the hill and approaching to the plains) about the other vehicular movement to avert accidents.
Velu said that this is the first kind of initiative in Tamil Nadu setup on trial basis and will be set up on 14 hairpin bends on Mettupalayam Ooty road soon. We are also planning to fix the same in hill areas across the state to avert road accidents on the hill road.
According to an official of the National Highways of State highways department "Instead of using concrete structure we have proposed Bowstring steel girder like the one was set up in Mullupadi near Pollachi. Madurai based consultancy is preparing the DPR for one crore and it will complete the DPR within the next nine months.