Hyderabad: The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has put up stringent conditions while clearing irrigation and drinking water projects in the tiger reserves and sanctuaries in the state.
Diversion of 622 hectares of the tiger corridor linking Kawal tiger reserve in TS with Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve in Maharastra and Indravathi tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh, has been given the green signal for construction of the Pranahita canal.
The NBWL has asked for 16 eco-bridges to avoid fragmentation of the tiger corridor and to permit free movement of tigers and other wild animals. The board has formed a committee with experts from the Wildlife Institute of India, responding to the plea by the government to decrease the number of the bridges
The user agency has been instructed to cut minimum number of trees while executing the work. Construction materials and machinery should be kept outside the sanctuary and no labour camp should be set up inside the sanctuary, noted NDWL, and added that the legal status of the forest land will not change.
The NBWL said, “It has been observed that a portion of the forest land has been encroached by local people in the proposed crossings. Stringent action needs to be initiated to make these areas free from encroachments so as to ensure minimal disturbances. About 6-8 metre-wide ramps should be constructed at an interval of every 500 metres of the canal, passing through wildlife areas/ corridor. This will enable even small animals to move easily,” The user agency also has asked not to construct the inspection road.
The NBWL has agreed for diversion of 0.231 hectares of forest for laying a pipeline and construction of other structures to providing drinking water to the Kotha-gudem and Pinapaka constituencies in Khammam district.
The pipeline will be underground except on the rocky cliffs. The board also okayed the proposal for diversion of 38.7 hectares of forest in Kinnerasani sanctuary for widening of the two-lane Kothagudem-Mylaram copper mines Road and of Rajapuram-Ulvanoor road in the Kothagudem division of Khammam District.
The user agency was asked to build underpasses at six locations in the forest areas which are frequently used by the wild animals.
Where Size matters
Width of the canal can be reduced considerably if excavated soil is thrown away from the site
Engineers have suggested that if the soil is remo-ved, the width can come down to 300-400 metres which is better than 1,700 metres width in the wildlife corridor
Make a revised estimate with the ‘cut and cover’ method and declare the western portion of the corridor as an extended core to the Kawal tiger reserve.
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