The Maharashtra government has taken a huge step for the safety of animals by taking a decision to rebuild a 2 km stretch of the Mumbai-Goa national highway that runs through a forest area.
The highway will be renovated to provide facilities like underpasses and ladders for animals, so that it is easy for them to cross the highway. This will also ensure that their natural habitat is not disturbed by human intervention which usually happens when a road is constructed within the forest area.
What will be the process?
The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) gave its permission to the state for widening the Panvel-Goa-Kochi Highway on 1 September.
Now, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Public Works Department (PWD) will create seven, three-by-three metre wide underpasses.
These underpasses will be covered with soil to represent a natural cave for the animals. Five ladders will also be constructed to ensure easy movement for monkeys.
An estimated Rs 20 crore has been allotted for the wildlife conservation project.
According to NHAI officials, initially the plan was to construct a flyover but as it would have cost Rs 125, it was cancelled.