A FULL-GROWN tiger was killed by a heavy vehicle while it was crossing the road near Bazargaon, about 35 km from Nagpur Friday evening. Deputy Conservator of Forest C Mallikarjun told The Indian Express, “The incident happened between 7 and 7.30 pm. The tiger, which appears to be big in size, was crossing National Highway 6, when he was hit by a heavy vehicle.”
“We hope to identify the tiger tomorrow from the camera trap pictures that we have,” he added. Milind Parivakkam of NGO Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), however, identified the tiger as Bajirao, officially known as T2. “We have identified him on the basis of the camera trap pictures we have of various tigers from this area. The tiger, about 8-9 year old, is known to have been walking from Bor Wildlife Sanctuary in Wardha district to Kalmeshwar forest in Nagpur district,” he told The Indian Express.
The number of tiger deaths recorded in Maharashtra this year has gone up to 22. “This is a highly functional wildlife corridor that connects Bor sanctuary in Wardha district to Melghat Tiger Reserve. We have noticed regular tiger movement across this stretch for the past few years. The incident once again highlights the need to secure wildlife corridors,” Parivakkam further said.
A prolonged battle by wildlife activists had resulted in the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) agreeing to taking mitigating measures on NH7 to protect wildlife walking the Kanha-Pench corridor while the four-laning of the highway progresses.
The highway cuts the corridor and the four-laning was posing a serious threat to wildlife. The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had directed the authorities to construct three flyovers along the crossing points along the highway.
While these three flyovers are under construction, the NHAI has so far not moved to implement similar mitigation measures on NH6 along the Nagzira-Navegaon wildlife corridor as directed by the HC.
There, the HC has directed construction of two 750-metre and two 700-metre flyovers for safe passage of wildlife.
“The proposed Samruddhi Communication Superhighway between Nagpur and Mumbai will further increase threat to wildlife, crossing over in the Bazargaon and adjoining stretches. So, the state government should plan mitigation measures well in advance,” Parivakkam said.