Telangana’s first overpass eco-bridge, which will allow for the convenient and safe movement of wild animals, is set to come up on the Mancherial – Chandrapur route on the National Highway 63.
Eco-bridges are built to improve wildlife connectivity, which can be disrupted by traffic passing through forest areas on highways. Unlike traditional underpasses, which are built in forests, the eco-bridge near Wankidi is an overpass structure.
Wild animals will pass over the structure, while vehicular traffic will pass beneath it, allowing for the smooth movement of animals, particularly tigers, while also preventing them from being hit by speeding vehicles.
The Mancherial-Chandrapur route in the Kaghaznagar forest is an eco-sensitive zone because tigers generally pass along the route while migrating from Maharashtra into Telangana.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is building the 1-kilometer-long overpass bridge. The structure was being built at a cost of Rs.30 crore, and work was already underway at a rapid pace, according to a senior Telangana Forest official.
“Going by the pace of the works, the structure should be ready in about six months,” the official said.
While the NHAI is undertaking civil works, the Forest Department is coordinating structure design, location identification, ecological aspects, and work execution. The structure was built in accordance with the Wildlife Institute of India guidelines. The official stated that all environmentally friendly measures were taken during the construction process.
In terms of the reasons for building an overpass bridge, the official stated that wild animals generally avoid passing through underpasses at night. It could be due to a lack of available space, poor lighting, or the passage becoming clogged with rainwater.
On the contrary, the overpass bridge was constructed in such a way that wild animals could cross the road easily and safely. The bridge would have a lot of greenery on both sides and would not look like a typical bridge, according to the official.
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