Two animal passes to be constructed along Kathmandu-Tarai fast trackConcerned authorities have decided to construct two underpasses alongside the under-construction Kathmandu-Tarai expressway for the free movement of wild animals.
Concerned authorities have decided to construct two underpasses alongside the under-construction Kathmandu-Tarai expressway for the free movement of wild animals.
The underpasses are being constructed in a community forest in Bara district, which is about two kilometres
from the eastern border of the Parsa National Park (PNP) and around seven kilometres north from Nijgadh section of the East-West Highway.
Major Rajesh Kumar Dev of the Nepal Army Road Construction Taskforce said, “The distance between these passes is about 100 metres. The underpasses will be constructed for the free movement of the wild animals on the traditional bio-corridor. For now we are going ahead with the construction of the rest of the expressway. We will build the underpasses before we start blacktopping the expressway.”
Conservationists have been lobbying with the authorities to construct proper thoroughfares (underpass or overhead bridge) along the expressway for the park’s animals who travel to the forests of Bara, Rautahat and Sarlahi in search of food.
Hari Bhadra Acharya, an ecologist at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu, said animal passes are a necessity in the area given that the expressway runs north-south and the bio-corridor east-west, exposing the crossing herds of animals to fatal accidents.
“Expressways in wildlife areas should ideally have underpasses or overhead bridges for the safety of the moving herds of animals. Speeding vehicles on expressways contribute to wildlife fatalities. Underpasses are better because the animals are used to using the traditional corridors as thoroughfares,” said Acharya.
Conservationists are of the opinion that there are greater chances of human-animal conflict if the animal habitats are encroached upon and bio-corridors disrupted. A herd of wild elephants have been wreaking havoc in Ishworpura area of Sarlahi district for the past two months when they got trapped in a forest after their route was blocked by the construction of a rail track and bridges between Bardibas and Simara as part of the Mechi-Mahakali Railway Project.