New road to bypass Nagarhole forest

In a major development, the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj has transferred 14 km of an alternate road bypassing the Nagarhole forest to the Public Wo­rks Department for upgradation.

This key decision was taken at a meeting of the monitoring committee of the Mysore-Mananthawadi road repair/formation, constituted by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court.

The committee, which met on January 12 under the chairmanship of Kaushik Mukherjee, Principal Secretary, Forest, Ecology and Environment Department, had sought the imm­ediate transfer of the 14-km str­e­tch of road between Da­­m­m­anakatte and Udbur Junction.

The principal secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, has assured the committee of all help. The secretary has informed the panel that the chief executive officer, Zilla Panchayat, Mysore, in his letter dated August 13, 2010, had already requested the Public Works Department to implement the road upgradation. 

A member of monitoring committee and a senior official from the Forest Department, on condition of anonymity, said the land has been transferred to the PWD.

PWD Minister C M Udasi, too, said that the work on the project will begin soon. However, the project may not be completed before the monsoon.

The 14-km stretch between Damanakatte and Udbur junction will pass through Honnamanakatte, Hosaholalu, K R Pura, Magge, Malali, N belthur, Kharapura, Gundathur and Udbur villages. The committee resolved that the Government will seek the CEC’s permission for repairing the 1.7 km stretch within the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve.

The Karnataka State Highway Improvement Project Authorities (KSHIP) had reportedly failed to set up adequate speed breakers. Hence, the co­mmittee resolved that wildlife expert Sanjay Gubbi, chief conservator of forests (Project Tiger) and superintendent engineer, KSHIP, should address this issue soon. 

Gubbi was happy with the decision. He said the good work initiated by the Forest Department will reduce vehicle accidents, which kill many animals, and also prevent fragmentation of the National Park.

Over a hundred rare endangered animals have been killed by speeding vehicles along this stretch that connects Karnataka with Kerala. An endangered female dhole was recently killed in an accident.

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