Elevated Corridor in Kaziranga National Park: Ministry closely examining proposal

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, is closely examining the proposal sent by the Government of Assam for constructing a 35-km-long elevated corridor in the National Highway near Kaziranga National Park (KNP) to protect the wild animals from getting hit by vehicles and facilitating their undisturbed movement.

Wildlife-vehicle collisions in KNP have always been a matter of concern. Vehicle hits increase during the rainy season when the park gets inundated and animals are often seen rushing to Karbi Anglong hills. Many wild animals, especially deer, are mowed down by vehicles plying on the highway. The elevated corridor is expected to offer a free passage to wild animals and protect them from getting hit by vehicles. It is an ambitious and much-talked-about project of the Assam Government. The government has long been waiting for the Centre’s nod to carry out the project. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is now critically examining the proposal sent by the Assam Government as it is a crucial project – one that may benefit the UNESCO World Heritage site or destroy it.

Talking to The TNL, sources in the Assam PWD (National Highway) said that initially, a proposal to construct a two-lane elevated corridor was sent to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Ministry then suggested the state authorities to do long-term thinking and construct a four-lane corridor instead of two-lane. The Assam PWD (National Highway) has made the four-lane alignment and sent the blueprint to the Ministry for its approval. Once the Ministry gives its nod, the detailed project report (DPR) and cost estimate of the project will be prepared, added sources.

The 35-km elevated corridor will be divided into three parts – Rangulu to Deopani; Harmoti to Hatikhuli; and Panbari to Borjuri. The corridor will also have two tunnels. Regarding the elevated corridor, the State PWD has also taken into consideration the opinions of the people living in and around KNP.

Sources said, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is discussing the proposal with various agencies and is examining the norms of the National Board for Wildlife to ensure that this project does not in any way violate any norms.

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