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

Tribune Shorts


Top Stories

Opposition leaders meet Naidu, seek suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members be revoked

Congress-led Opposition to boycott Rajya Sabha over suspension of 12 MPs; govt defends suspensions

The decision to boycott was taken at a morning meeting of op...

Centre advises states to ramp up testing for early detection of cases in view of Omicron scare

Centre advises states to ramp up testing for early detection of cases in view of Omicron scare

While underlining that the new variant doesn't escape RT-PCR...

Centre extends containment measures till December 31 amid global concerns about omicron

Centre extends containment measures till December 31 amid global concerns about omicron

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asks states and UTs to stri...

Omicron scare: 1,000 travellers from African nations landed in Mumbai in last 15 days; 100 tested

Omicron scare: 1,000 travellers from African nations landed in Mumbai in last 15 days; 100 tested

Swab samples were collected of at least 100 travellers out o...

WHO warns that new virus variant poses ‘very high’ risk

WHO warns that new virus variant poses very high risk

The assessment from the UN health agency, contained in a tec...

Cities

View All