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    NHAI plans Rs. 20k-cr NHs with green underpasses

    National Highways Green Underpass
    In order to ensure quicker environmental clearance for the road and highway projects, the transport ministry has decided to build 1900km highways worth Rs. 20,000-cr with lush and green underpasses ensuring trouble free wild animal movement on at least 10 national highways that pass through forests and wildlife sanctuaries.

    The newest move is going to add to the cost of construction as these stretches will be fitted with CCTV cameras to monitor the movement of animals, but at the same time will reduce the impact on the natural habitat of animals, a senior National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) official said, adding that highways in question would pass through sanctuaries such as the Madhav National Park near Gwalior; Chambal and the corridors connecting the Kanha and Pench tiger reserves; Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand and dense forests of Assam. The cave-like, concrete underpasses that the ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed will be layered with natural soil so that they resemble the natural habitat of the animals. Highway stretches passing through green corridors will have fencing to prevent vehicles from entering the core zone. Speed of vehicles will be restricted to 40 km an hour and in this connection, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and National Tiger Conservation Authority have jointly prepared draft guidelines for mitigation of impact of linear projects in dense forest ranges.
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