Leopard killed in accident on highway

A male leopard, aged around eight, was killed in a road accident on Gurugram-Faridabad State highway on Wednesday.

A first information report has been registered by the Forest Department in connection with the incident.

The death of the leopard has again put focus on the lack of safety measures on the three highways, including National Highway-48 and Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway, bisecting the corridor used by the wildlife to traverse from Asola Wildlife Sanctuary in Delhi to Sariska in Rajasthan passing through Gurugram (Mangar-Bandhwari).

Though jackals, nilgai (blue bull), mongoose and other wild animals are killed in routine on these highways, at least two leopards died in separate accidents last year. “A leopard had died in a similar manner at the same spot in January last year, while another lost his life in October,” said Vaishali Rana, a wildlife activist.

Wildlife activists have been demanding long that underpasses to be urgently constructed on the three highways to provide passage to the animals to cross the roads. Also, the authorities have been asked several times to build speed barriers and put signages on these highways to caution the drivers about the presence of wildlife and to slow down.

Ms. Rana wrote to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife, Alok Verma, on Thursday seeking to know the status of wildlife conservation plan for the highways and how the sanctioned funds were used.

Mr. Verma told The Hindu that the construction of underpasses was taken up with the National Highways Authority of India several times, but there was no favourable response. He added that it would be difficult to stop such incidents unless underpasses were made for the wildlife to cross the roads.

“Citing the present case and the earlier cases as well, we will again take up the matter with the NHAI so that some action can be taken. We will also ask the Public Works Department, Haryana, to put signages and speed barriers on the roads falling under its jurisdiction. We will raise the matter with the State government aggressively,” said Mr. Verma.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 9:12:27 PM |

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