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Gadkari cheers wildlife enthusiasts, says Kaziranga Elevated Road best platform to watch rhinos

Construction of Kaziranga Elevated Road is aimed at reducing mortality of animals due to wildlife-vehicle collisions (Images courtesy: Wildlife Institute of India and National Tiger Conservation Authority)

Viewing platforms, complete with vehicle parking and kiosks to provide tourists with an opportunity for wildlife watching, could come up on the 34-kilometre-long Kaziranga Elevated Road at the World heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park in Assam.

Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari came up with the suggestion during a review meeting on the project held on Tuesday.

As part of the cost optimization efforts, he also instructed that the construction of the tunnels be treated as a separate project and that the debris and muck resulting from their construction be used in the road works.

Kaziranga National Park

The elevated Kaziranga corridor project is part of the Rs 50,000 crore infra investment announced by the Narendra Modi government for Assam last November.

It also includes construction of Guwahati Ring Road, Narangi-Kurua bridge, Jorhat Majuli bridge, six-lane Khanapara Jorabat road and Khanapara-LGBI Airport Ropeway.

As envisioned by PM Modi, Central and State agencies continue to work towards developing top-class transport infrastructure in North Eastern States to bridge the connectivity gap in the region.

assam north east

“Construction of Guwahati Ring Road and civil work of Kaziranga Elevated Corridor to commence shortly,” tweeted Assam Cabinet Minister Ashok Singhal on Wednesday.

Kaziranga National Park being a World heritage Site and Tiger Reserve is the breeding ground of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer along with the iconic Greater one-horned rhinoceros.

It also provides habitat for a number of threatened species and migratory birds and contains the most important and significant natural habitat for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science and conservation.

The National Highway 37 (now 715) cuts through the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam. Construction of Kaziranga Elevated Road is aimed at reducing mortality of animals due to wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Herds of wild elephants, at times even numbering up to 200, can be seen migrating from the Mikir hills to the bheels (marshes or ox-bow lakes), offering the most spectacular view to the wildlife enthusiasts.

Gadkari detailed that the initiative entails the construction of approximately 34 kilometers of elevated roads at sites identified by the Wildlife Institute of India, where animal crossings occur.

“Additionally, it involves widening the intervening at-grade road to a 4-lane highway, totaling approximately 50 kilometers in length, and building tunnels spanning approximately 3 kilometers,” tweeted the Union Minister.