Recently the news of India’s first animal bridge in the Delhi-Mumbai expressway impressed environmentalists in this country. These animal bridges built along the lines of the Netherlands will provide wildlife a safe passageway. On similar lines, Uttarakhand gets a unique eco-friendly bridge to help reptiles cross the jungle road safely. A bridge for reptiles may sound uncanny but the Uttarakhand Forest Department has built a first-of-its-kind elevated eco-bridge across a busy highway in Ramnagar forest division so that reptiles trying to cross over are not crushed under traffic. Read on to know more about this eco-bridge in detail.
Eco-bridge for small animals
It is a 90-feet long bridge made of bamboo, jute and grass that can assist reptiles, small animals and even leopards to cross the jungle road without getting hit by vehicles. The bridge has been built across the Kaladhungi-Nainital highway in just 10 days by local contractors. The cost of the bridge is Rs. 2 lakh. The structure is 90-feet long, 5-feet wide & 40-feet high. It can withstand the weight of 3 adult humans. Apart from reptiles the forest department hopes even small animals and leopards can use this to cross to the other side of the jungle. The bridge will have creepers layered with grass and leaves to attract and protect small animals.
Also read: Uttarakhand gets India’s first-ever Moss Garden.
The Kaladhungi-Nainital highway is the main route to Nainital and is used by a large number of vehicles especially in the tourist season. The adjoining jungle is home to lizards, snakes, including pythons, rodent squirrels and monkeys and the reptiles frequently get crushed under the passing vehicles. Ramnagar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Chandra Shekhar Joshi said that the bridge is monitored by four camera traps and it will be studied as a model by the Forest Department.Forest staff would patrol the area to ensure tourists do not try to use the bridge for selfies. Additionally, In order to create awareness of the need to protect reptiles boards are being put up.
The bridge has been made at a point where the road arcs in a wide 'U' and vehicles going downhill often travel at high speed. It is expected that by reducing the need for sudden braking in front of a crossing animal the road will be safer for human beings too.
We are glad that the government is taking such measures to protect wildlife. Kudos to the Indian government! Tell us your view about the eco- bridge for animals in the comments below. For your one-stop solution, book your train and flight tickets through Trainman app. Download the Trainman App to check PNR Status of your ticket, Running Status, Seat Availability in special trains and a lot more.