Animals living near NH 17, which is the Mumbai Goa highway, will now get a safe surrounding. The National Highways Authority of India will soon create an underpass and set up ladders for them, so they don’t have to face any trouble while crossing the road that splits the jungle.
How many times have you almost missed hitting an animal while driving on a highway? With several roads cutting through the natural habitats of many animals, there is a very high risk of them suddenly appearing in front of your vehicle on the highway, leading to an accident.
In order to prevent this, the Maharashtra government has come up with an interesting solution, and has decided to rebuild the 2 km stretch of the Mumbai-Goa National Highway (NH 17) which runs through a forest area.
The new stretch will have facilities for animals including leafy underpasses and ladders to cross the road.
Photo for representation purpose only. Source: ncf-india.org
The idea behind this initiative is to not disturb the natural habitat of the animals when a road splits the jungle. The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) gave the permission to the state government to widen the Panvel-Goa-Kochi Highway. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Public Works Department (PWD) will now start their work to widen the stretch from two lanes to four lanes.
In a first of its kind move, NHAI will create seven underpasses which will be covered with soil to make them look like caves for the animals. In addition to this, five ladders will be constructed atop the highway to make the movement of monkeys easier.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 100 crore out of which Rs. 20 crore will be spent on wildlife conservation and management.
The new stretch will also have a fencing which will restrict vehicles from entering the core zone.
Earlier, NHAI had considered making a flyover instead of widening the road, but the idea was not feasible and was costlier too.