The National Highways Authority of India has demonstrated its firm commitment to the cause of wildlife conservation once again. For the road project of widening of the Madhya Pradesh/Maharashtra border – Mansar section of the existing NH-7 which cuts across the tiger corridor in the state of Maharashtra, NHAI has approved Rs. 186 Crore for wildlife mitigation measures to take care of any possible adverse impact on the tiger population in the Pench – Kanha Tiger Corridor. This is only a part of the amount to be spent for the purpose.
The total length of the project from Nagpur to Madhya Pradesh/Maharashtra border is 117 Km. Out of this, the work of 4 laning of about 79 Km, which includes the Nagpur Bypass, Kamptee- Kanhan Bypass and Kanhan to Mansar of existing NH-7, was completed in July 2012. However, the work of 4 laning from Mansar to MH/MP Border could not be taken up for want of tree felling permission and finalisation of mitigation measures to be adopted for wildlife habitat in and around the stretch. With all the statutory clearances in place, NHAI has resumed civil works on this stretch.
As per the recommendations of the Wildlife Institute of India and the National Tiger Conservation Authority, also endorsed by the Hon’ble High Court at Nagpur, NHAI is providing elaborate mitigation measures on the stretch. The measures include three elevated sections of 750m, 750m and 300m length, so that wildlife can move across the highway alignment following their natural paths. Besides these, 6 other wildlife crossings of different dimensions are also being provided.