Construction of Road Connecting Jim Corbett and Rajaji Tiger Reserve to Commence Soon
The long-pending proposal for the construction of Laldhang-Chillarkhal road connecting Jim Corbett and Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) has finally got the approval of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL). The proposed road will cut down travel time between Garhwal and Kumaon while passing through the reserve forest area of RTR.
Out of the total length of 11.5 km, the 4.5 km stretch from Chamaria Bend to Siggadi Sot is a wildlife corridor between Corbett Tiger Reserve and Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
The project was put on hold in June 2019 by the Supreme Court (SC) and the state government was directed by the apex court to get clearance from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and NBWL. After the SC’s directions, the NTCA asked Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to submit a project report.
The scientists at the Tiger Cell of WII recommended a “status quo” on the 4.5km stretch.
Status quo should be maintained on the stretch between Chamaria Bend and Sigaddi Sot. The black topping should be avoided in this route considering wildlife movement in the area. However, the forest department may maintain this portion regularly by using ‘murram’ so as to allow passage of vehicles.
However, regardless of the suggestions of WII, NTCA approved the road connecting Jim Corbett and Rajaji Tiger Reserve. It stated that a 100-metre-long underpass could be constructed after every one-kilometre road on the stretch. The NBWL also approved the project but extended the limit for the length of underpasses from 100 metres to 150 metres after every kilometre.
The total length of underpasses on the Laldhang-Chillarkhal road would be 705 metres. According to the experts, these underpasses would be sufficient for the smooth movement of animals.
In 2014, a forest department committee had suggested building an overpass of 7.5 km in the region to facilitate the unobstructed movement of wild animals.
Via: Times of India