Now, Only Elevated Rail, Road Corridors Through Gir

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Now, Only Elevated Rail, Road Corridors Through Gir

| Updated: June 20, 2024 09:41

Since 2014, 17 lions have been killed in 15 collisions with trains in Amreli district

Concerned about the number of lion deaths on railway tracks, the Gujarat government has conveyed to the Centre and Indian Railways that, from now on only elevated rail and road corridors would be built in and around Gir and Greater Gir areas. 

Since 2014, 17 lions have been killed in 15 collisions with trains in Amreli district. The Pipava-Liliya section alone reported 16 lion deaths.

State forest minister, Mulu Bera, gave the example of three major national parks – Jim Corbett, Sundarbans, and Kanha. In his communication to the Union ministries for road and highways, forest and environment, and to the Railways, he stressed that all new projects – railway lines and state and national highways – around wildlife sanctuaries, especially Gir and Greater Gir areas, must be elevated. 

Planning is underway

Mukesh Patel, minister of state for forest (Gujarat) said: “Planning is underway and experts are assessing the situation to determine where elevated corridors on existing tracks can be constructed. Once finalised, the government will implement the plan.”

A forest department officer said this decision will impact all future projects in the area. For existing tracks, though, especially the Pipava-Liliya section, the department is planning to elevate it if alternative land is available.

The Railways and the forest department have identified five lion collision corridors – Gir-Somnath eastern coast, Mitiyala-Shetrunji river basin, Shetrunji-Rajkot, Amreli-Liliya-Hipavadli and Rajula-Jafrabad coast. 

Officials say that funds for the elevated corridors for Gir and Greater Gir areas could come from ‘Project Lion’ which has been approved by the Central government.

The elevated corridors will keep other wildlife like leopards, hyenas and herbivores also safe from rail accidents.  

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