Ensuring safe access to wildlife in Lumding reserve forest, Assam, India

The Doboka-Silchar National Highway (NH-54E) in the northeastern
Indian state of Assam is proposed to be upgraded into a four-lane
highway. This highway bisects the Lumding Reserve Forest. The
course of proposed expanded highway is planned almost in the same alignment of the existing road with smoother and flatter horizontal and vertical curves. Though the existing road currently does not affect the crossing of elephants and other mammals, an upgraded four-lane highway with increased traffic and speeding vehicles is bound to be unsafe for wild animals as well as people travelling in the vehicles. Therefore, construction of safe passages for wild animals like elephant and gaur is mandatory. Given this need a team supported by WWF-India surveyed the area and came up with suggestions for mitigation measures. This report details the mitigation measures proposed to facilitate wildlife movement. These include appropriate underpasses for wildlife
at identified areas, culverts and provision of artificial lianas for arboreal mammals.