Tunnels being constructed in Midghat section.
By Ankita Garg :
In order to minimise the incidents of trains running over wildlife, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RNVL) has targeted to complete the construction in Budni Midghat section by December 2022. RVNL is constructing five tunnels on 26.50 km third rail line from Barkheda to Budhni under Bhopal railway division. There are also five over passes, 20 under passes and six dam being constructed for water facility to the wildlife. Besides, a borewell operated with solar power will be installed in this section that would help animals to drink water.
Railway has started dense plantation drive around the tunnels for environment conservation and also to give it natural look for wildlife. Concerned over recent death cases of big cats on this rail line, West Central Railway asked RNVL officials to complete construction work in these area at faster pace so that wildlife would be secured. Officials also sought fund to start fencing around the track as per proposals in meeting with forest department. Atul Nigam, Chief Project Manager RVNL said, four overpasses are being constructed in 26.50 km of area including Budhni- Midghat, Chauka- Midghat, Chauka- Barkheda. Construction work of railway third line in Habibganj- Barkheda and Budhni –Itarsi section has been completed. This section Budhni- Barkheda is still under construction.
This project would help to minimize incidents of trains running over wildlife. He further added, “Bridges will look like a part of adjoining forest. Animals will start using the bridge because of its structure. This will help to minimize the causalities.” RVNL is constructing five tunnels for the third railway line in the area. Midghat section of railway has become a ‘suicide point of the majestic’ due to numerous deaths of tigers.
Decision of making animal bridges on same locality was taken jointly by forest department and railway authorities during year 2016-17 when death toll of tigers mounted highest. The track cuts a wildlife corridor that is used by big cats from Ratapani wildlife sanctuary to approach the Gharadia nullah to drink water. Every year three to four tigers lose their life while crossing the track. The tunnel is being constructed so that animals can safely cross the track without any casualty. This section comes under Ratapani periphery and it is home to over 40 tigers. Railways project of third line in the area got final nod on condition of specific provision for safe passage to big cats.