The hurdles in the way of construction of three flyovers along stretches of National Highway 7 (NH-7) to protect the wildlife corridor in Kanha-Pench tiger reserve have been removed, with Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar Thursday agreeing to construct the flyovers.
The Ministry of Transport had been opposing measures for construction of the flyovers along stretches of NH7 that pass through wildlife corridors in the tiger reserve to allow safe passage to wild animals. The measures had been suggested by the Wildlife Institute of India.
The Indian Express had reported last week that Gadkari had agreed to implement the measures. Gadkari had categorically ruled out building the three flyovers, two of 750 m and one of 300 m, along the Mansar-Khawasa stretch of the highway in Nagpur district, at a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the environment minister a few months ago.
The issue had then been fought between the High Court here and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Delhi. The High Court had directed the forest department to allow tree felling to facilitate the work.
Gadkari and Javadekar discussed the issue Thursday in New Delhi and agreed to implement the mitigation measures. “We have agreed to construct the flyovers, even if it costs us Rs 100 crore more. The Surface Transport and Environment Ministries will submit a joint affidavit in courts to the effect,” Gadkari told The Indian Express.