Katol-Wardha rly line to cut through Bor tiger reserve in Maharashtra
Nagpur: Even as protests against upgrade of the railway line through Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR) are yet to die down, the Central Railway (CR) has approved a proposal for a new 77km line between Katol and Wardha. If constructed without any mitigation measures, the line will cut Bor Tiger Reserve into two parts.
With 139sqkm core area, Bor is the country’s smallest tiger reserve with presence of seven tigers and over 200 bird species, and hundreds of herbivores. The tiger reserve’s buffer comes to 670sqkm and the railway line, if allowed without any mitigation measures, would spell doom for wildlife and ecology, and shatter source population of big cats.
The corridors connecting Bor to other forests have already been cut by four-laning of roads in corridor patches of Bazargaon-Kondhali-Talegaon (NH6), Nagpur-Chandrapur (NH7) and Butibori-Wardha and Hingni-Selu highways.
“Now, Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Expressway is in the pipeline, where MSRDC has shown commitment for wildlife mitigation measures while others (agencies) are blatantly violating guidelines. The new line will isolate tigers and wildlife,” said Bor officials.
As the plan has been prepared by the headquarters, there is no information whether wildlife mitigation measures have been included in the project. Nagpur DRM Somesh Kumar was not available for comments. Chief public relations officer Sunil Udasi could not come up with an immediate response on the issue.
The rail distance between Katol and Wardha is 139km. If the 77km new line is laid, the railways will save on time and money for 62km and there will be faster train movement.