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Friday, May 25, 2012

Wildlife Institute of India report on wildlife underpasses acceptable, says Joshi

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | May 25, 2012, 02.04AM IST NAGPUR: Union minister for road transport and highways Dr C P Joshi on Thursday said the report of ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) on NH6 for remodelling the road in wildlife corridors will be acceptable to his ministry. Joshi was in Mouda, 35km from here, to lay symbolic stone laying of Bhandara-Nagpur four-lane road work in 45km stretch on Thursday. The work on the project had already started in April by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). To a question, Joshi admitted that forest clearances have stalled work on NH6 and NH7. However, when pointed out that these patches cut tiger corridors to 10 protected areas (PAs), he remained mum. The issue of corridors and elevated underpasses for wildlife was also raised by state ministers Rajendra Mulak and Shivajirao Moghe. When told that Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, which was appointed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to suggest mitigation measures on NH6, has asked to construct elevated underpasses on NH6, he said, "Let the report come, we will accept it." He also said that large-scale tree felling for road widening will be compensated. "I will order officials to take up plantations," he told TOI. The NHAI has felled around 60,000 trees in 150km radius of Nagpur to widen roads. It had to plant 1.80 lakh trees as per the ratio of 1:3, but it has hardly planted any trees. Of the 33 lakh km road length in India, 71,000km roads are with NHAI. Joshi said 6,000km roads will get added to it soon. "Even if hardly 3% road network is with NHAI, country's 40% traffic passes through its roads. Better roads have added to the growth rate and removal of poverty and hence the widening process. There are 17,000km single lane roads which will be converted into double lane," Joshi said. The roads transport ministry has chalked out an ambitious project to upgrade its roads under public-private partnership (PPP). "We will need Rs 2.20 lakh crore for the upgradation which will be carried out in phases," said Joshi. He said, in Maharashtra total road length with NHAI is 4,300km, of which 1,252km roads have been four-laned and work on 453km is in progress. "Work on four-laning of another 613km will be taken up soon. Besides, a target to upgrade 856km roads have been set in 2012-13," Joshi said. He added that upgradation of roads in Vidarbha would boost economic development for which Congress party is committed. All the ongoing and proposed works in Maharashta would need Rs 30,000 crore. Although no concrete plans, on the insistence of union social welfare minister and MP from Ramtek Mukul Wasnik, in whose constituency the function was organized, Joshi said he would remodel 100-year-old Kanhan bridge, four-laning of Khapri ROB, flyover at Butibori and a mega health check-up camp in the district as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR). "The NHAI will organize 10 such camps in India at the cost of Rs 5 crore. One such camp will be in Wasnik's constituency," said Joshi. The function was an all Congress show and not a single senior NCP leader attended the programme.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. I’m not actually familar with, thanku for great info

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