Balasaheb Thackeray Samruddhi Mahamarg, which is amongst the country’s longest Greenfield road project connecting two capitals of Maharashtra – Mumbai and Nagpur – will have nine over-bridges and 17 underpasses for allowing movements of wildlife. This is the first 701 km long expressway in the country to have these facilities for wild animals.
The expressway passes through Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim and Buldana districts of Vidarbha while it has to go 117 km through wildlife habitats, tiger corridors, eco-sensitive zones of Tansa, Katepurna and Karanja Sohol wildlife sanctuaries. Therefore, Forest Department insisted on taking up mitigation works to prevent animals meet road accidents while crossing one side of the habitat to other side of the highway.
It may be mentioned here that due to lack of mitigation works on highway no: 7, many wild animals, including carnivores, die in road mishaps due to high speed of vehicles. Samruddhi Mahamarg will have facility leopard-proof fences along the highway to avoid wild animals jump over to the highway. The speed of vehicles will be around 150 km per hour on this expressway and hence various mitigation measures are planned for it for safe movement of wildlife.
There will be around 1800 structures like box culverts, minor bridges, culverts, canals, viaducts, cart tracks, tunnel, vehicle overpasses etc at this expressway. The people can travel from Nagpur to Mumbai in just eight hours by this highway, cutting 50 per cent time required at present.