The rising number of brutal road accidents of innocent animals taking place every year need not be mentioned because last year’s data that reported around 3,000 deaths of stray animals on roads, make it self-evident. And the data for the number of deaths of wild animals on highways or expressways is not even entirely available.
Most of the accidents happen majorly because of poor lighting on roads or due to over speeding. As per reports, the number of accidents has increased by almost 23% in the last six years.
A huge number of accidents happen on highways and expressways and most of them go unnoticed every year. One of the best ways to abate the number of accidents is ‘Animal Passage’ which has already been adopted by various countries such as France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, United States, and a few more.
India has also joined these countries recently and now we will also have animal passages for the safety of wildlife animals, leading to less human-animal conflict. India will have its first-ever animal passage at the under-construction ‘Delhi-Mumbai Greenfield Expressway’.
1) Based On The Netherlands’ Animal Passage Map
Times of India reported that these corridors will be on the lines of the animal overpasses in the Netherlands. The plan aims to ensure smooth movement of animals and no disturbance in the Ranthambore Wildlife Corridor which connects Ranthambore and Mukundra wildlife sanctuaries.
2) Approved By The Rajasthan Government
The initiative has been approved by the Rajasthan government and forwarded to the Central Wildlife Board. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already handed over the work to an infrastructure giant.
3) Five Animal Passages
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is all set to have five all-green animal overpasses with a length of over 2.5 km at every 500 metres interval.
4) Will Be Completed By 2022
Road Transport and Highways Minister Sh. Nitin Gadkari said that this project will be finished by 2022. The work is to be started within the next two months.
The authorities will make sure that the passage is equipped with a boundary wall of 8 metres with noise barriers and the whole structure is to be covered with trees and plants so that it appears as a natural part of forest corridors to the animals.
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Animal Passages In Other Countries –
The concept of animal bridges was first developed in France in the 1950s and in the last decade it has built over 200 animal passages, including 20 bridges with new infrastructure.
The Netherlands has more than 600 animal bridges or ecoducts (in Dutch) to protect badgers, elk, amphibians, ungulates, and other small mammals.
The United States took a little longer to adopt this plan but since 2000, several installations of animal passages have occurred there that brought a huge drop in animal-related accidents.
Around 44 structures, six bridges, and 38 underpasses were built in Canada between 1996 and 2016 to cross the Trans-Canada Highway.
Between 2010 and 2013, the Australian government manufactured about a half dozen wildlife crossings to preserve the Koala population that was decreasing at an alarming rate due to road accidents.
It’s high time for India to start spending a major part of its expenditure on ecological structures and make the construction of wildlife bridges a compulsion while constructing highways.
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This post is tagged under: animal passages, animal overpasses, animal bridges on highway, Mumbai Delhi e-way to get animal passage, India’s first ever animal passage, animal safety, roadkill, animal accidents, India to follow Netherlands, highways, expressways, NHAI, Central Wildlife Board, Mumbai-Delhi greenfield expressway