Forest dept for bridges on roads traversing forests

DH File photo.

The government is contemplating bridges on new roads traversing protected areas, said Sanjai Mohan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), on Thursday.

At an interaction during the screening of the film - 'Understanding Wildlife Corridors' - Mohan said the project will take off in Ragihalli near Bannerghatta National Park. "Though it is a satellite road, it is nothing but a corridor," he added.

The government is looking at bridges as an alternative. "Forest department will study all aspects before a clearance," Mohan assured.

The conservator admitted the pressure was mounting for a bridge on the road cutting through the Bandipur. "The government and the department are against it. The matter is in the court," he said.

Mohan added that the department is working on connecting MM Hills and BRT Tiger Reserve, stretching around 15 acres. "Talks are on with JSW Steel to buy land here in lieu of mining land in Ballari," he added.

According to Mohan, CSR initiatives are too little. "We can't penalise corporates. Discussions are on. We encourage them to form groups of four or more to undertake CSR collectively," he said.

Nature Conservation Foundation scientists, Sanjay Gubbi and M D Madhusudhan, were present on the occassion. "There are excellent wildlife laws. Regulation and enforcement are very poor," Madhusudhan pointed out.

"Studies have shown animals like sambars, tigers and leopards avoid roads which pass through forest areas during the day," Gubbi said.

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