Mumbai, Sep 18 (IANS) In a first of its kind infrastructure intiative in the country, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corp and Wildlife Institute of India, Uttarakhand, will collaborate to save wildlife habitats along the upcoming Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (NMSCE), a top official said here on Tuesday.
The MSRDC and Dehradun-based WII signed an agreement to study the wildlife habitats along the 700-km long NMSCE which will directly link the state capital with its second capital, according to MSRDC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Radheshyam Mopalwar.
Besides, the WII will ensure that after construction, wildlife was able to move around freely without any threats from vehicles zooming along at around 150-kmph speeds.
"We are sensitive towards the issue of conserving wildlife and committed to maintain their habitat. We are determined that NMSCE will serve as a model project for the protection of wildlife and sanctuaries falling along the route and maintain the environmental balance," said Mopalwar.
There are several major wildlife sanctuaries, including tiger reserves, falling in the vicinity or will be linked by the NMSCE route, like the Pench National Park, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Sanctuary, Chikhaldhara, Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary and Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary.
It will also connect some of the most renowned tourist destinations like Sewagram Ashram, Lonar Lake & Crater, Daulatabad Fort, Bibi Ka Maqbara, Ajanta Caves, Trimbakeshwar, Pandavleni Caves, the famed vineyards of Nashik and Shirdi.
A pet project of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the NMSCE Greenfield Project will zip through 10 districts, 26 sub-districts and 392 villages en route, slashing the travel time between Mumbai and the second capital from the present 18 to barely eight hours.
The Rs 46,000-crore NMSCE, likely to be completed by October 2019, will get an extra boost with a proposal to twin a railway line, a first such coordinated move to execute a transportation project in the country.
The project will be a part of the proposed high speed rail corridor between Howrah-Mumbai, the diamond quadrilateral rail project.