first-of-its-kind

Uttarakhand has an eco-bridge for reptiles, animals

The 5-foot-wide, 40-foot-high bridge can take the weight of three adult humans

Uttarakhand has an eco-bridge for reptiles, animals

Picture for representational purpose only.

Nainital (Uttarakhand), November 30

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.

The 90-foot-long structure of bamboo, jute, and grass was built across the two-lane Kaladhungi-Nainital highway by local contractors over a period of 10 days. The cost of the bridge is Rs 2 lakh.

The 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.

The 5-foot-wide, 40-foot-high bridge can take the weight of three adult humans, and forest officials said they hope it would be used by even leopards.

Ramnagar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Chandra Shekhar Joshi said that the bridge, which will be monitored by four camera traps, will be studied as a model by the Forest Department.

Joshi said that 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.

"This is a dense forest, and elephants, leopards, deer, and blue bulls move in this area. Drivers can see them from some distance and slow down or stop, but they rarely do so for snakes, lizards, monitors, or squirrels," said a forest official.

He said that in order to attract reptiles and other small animals to the bridge, creepers will be grown it and it will be layered with grass and leaves.

The DFO said that boards were being put up to create awareness of the need to protect reptiles. Forest staff would patrol the area to ensure tourists do not try to use the bridge for selfies, he added. IANS

Top Stories

Modi launches nation-wide Covid vaccination drive

Modi launches nation-wide Covid vaccination drive

Three lakh healthcare and frontline workers will be vaccinat...

Go get vaccinated, don’t take Covid for granted: NIMHANS chief to health workers

Go get vaccinated, don’t take Covid for granted: NIMHANS chief to health workers

MV Padma Srivastava, the outgoing head of neurology at New D...

Replying to Australia's 369, India 62 for 2 at tea on day 2 of Brisbane Test

Replying to Australia's 369, India 62 for 2 at tea on day 2 of Brisbane Test

India lost Shubhman Gill (7) before vice captain Rohit Sharm...

Modi most preferred for PM's post, way ahead of Rahul, says survey

Modi most preferred for PM's post, way ahead of Rahul, says survey

In Punjab, the support for Modi and Rahul is evenly split at...

India has world's largest diaspora with 18 million people living abroad: UN

India has world's largest diaspora with 18 million people living abroad: UN

Presenting the International Migration Report 2020 on Friday...

Cities

View All