Many road connectivity projects are ongoing in India. India’s stance to boom vehicular connectivity has been praised and also criticised by many. When the world is moving towards alternative transport systems, India is taking leaps in road development. Many of these roads do pass through critical wildlife corridors. The numbers are very staggering, most of the wildlife sensitive areas have major roadways passing through.
Last year in July 2021, Indian Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari stated during the Lok Sabha assembly session that “no incident of killing of wild animals in road accidents on national highways (NHs) has been reported by the MoRTH during the last 3 years in the country”. Many activists disagreed and presented many roadkill instances. Many stories of roadkills which occurred during the mentioned period are still available online in public domain.
The good news is that the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway also known as Samruddhi Mahamarg, a project by MSRDC has incorporated many animal safety infrastructures. They have a number of planned underpasses and overpasses on the route for safe wildlife passage across the expressways.
The project is divided into many sections which are delegated to many infrastructure companies for development. Afcons, a infrastructure construction company is currently developing two sections, package 2 and 14 of the Mumbai- Nagpur Expressway. One of the engineers from Afcons, Vaibhav Sachan, has shared images of their recent work in progress.
In the images shared, a overpass bridge can be clearly seen with a layer of soil on the overpass connecting the two cliffs. Rows of ditches dug for plantations are visible too.
This is a new chapter in India’s wildlife conservation efforts, especially for the vulnerable animals situated around the major roadways. Such alternative techniques can be adopted to save the innumerable roadkills that happen everyday in India.