Chennai

Eco bridges on highway soon for safety of elephants

Objective is to reduce man-animal conflict, says official

In a move that will make wildlife enthusiasts happy, the Chennai-Bangalore national highway will get at least two eco bridges to facilitate elephant crossings near two reserve forests in the Hosur-Krishnagiri section.

Sources in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said they plan to construct bridges with trees, plants and shrubs to recreate the feel of the forest on the route that is taken by the pachyderms from Sanamavu and Melumalai reserved forests.

“Currently when elephants cross the highway, traffic stops. We want to reduce man-animal conflict and provide a safe and convenient passage for the elephants on the route they take,” said an official.

The 60-km long Hosur-Krishnagiri section is a six-lane road now widened at a cost of Rs. 535 crore.

“We have written to the Forest Department to provide the exact locations of elephant crossings and the width of the structures since elephants will move as a herd so as to provide enough space for the animals. The width could even be 50 m. There are similar animal crossings in other countries, such as the Bukit Timah expressway in Singapore and Interstate 78, Wachtung Reservation, New Jersey, USA,” explained a source.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 10:03:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Eco-bridges-on-highway-soon-for-safety-of-elephants/article14394740.ece

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