In a first of its kind, the Indian state of Telangana will soon have eco-friendly bridges for easy movement of tigers.
The state will have the bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the forests in Telangana's Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.
The intervention requires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is camouflaged.
The Telangana Irrigation Department has already given green signal for the construction of the eco-bridges. However, recommendations on the size and locations of the bridges are awaited from the National Board of Wildlife.
The concept of building eco-bridges came up after visits by experts from the Wildlife Board of India and the Wildlife Institute of India. The experts were concerned about the large-scale destruction of forest along the corridor, which would result in cutting off tiger movement between TATR and Bejjur.
• The eco-bridges will be constructed at key spots along the 72 km-long right flank canal of the Pranahita barrage in the Bejjur and Dahegaon mandals.
• One of the locations tentatively assigned for the eco-bridge is a spot close to Sulgupalli in the Bejjur forest range. In this area, the canal is over a kilometre wide, which urgently calls for facilitation for the movement of wild animals.
Why there’s a need to build eco-bridges?
In recent years, tigers from the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve have strolled into the mixed and bamboo forests of the Bejjur range via the Sirpur forests.
The TATR and its buffer area, which are adjacent to the Sirpur forests, boast of a speedily multiplying tiger population, which turns out to be the cause of the frequent migration of tigers into Sirpur and Bejjur.
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