A 60 kilometre-long stretch of Greenfield highway will be constructed in Rajasthan under the Bharatmala Pariyojana to ensure high speed traffic movement between Delhi and Mumbai. The highway will be developed as an undergound passageway passing through the Mukundra Hill Tiger Reserve.
A source from the Ministry of Environment said the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wild Life (NBWL),in its meeting headed by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, earlier this month, recommended the proposal of National Highway Authority India (NHAI) for development of eight lanes Greenfield Highway which will stretch from Bhenda Hera village to Moondiya village section of the highway in Rajasthan. The Greenfield highway will be a 59.6 km long tunnel passing through the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. The proposed highway is part of Bharatmala project and will connect severaltowns like Gurgaon, Alwar, Bharatpur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Bundi,Kota, Jaora, Ratlam etc. and give an infrastructure fillip to the states ofDelhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the ministry source said.
The highway will be access-controlled and ensure high speed traffic movementfrom Delhi to Mumbai. The proposed alignment is selected to cover one of the most important North-South arterial connectivity in the country, further interspersed with feeder highways on its either sides.
The proposed road network is passing through the Mukundra Hills TigerReserve and the NBWL recommended the project as a tunnel to be constructed under 8 lanes (Greenfield Highway) from Bhenda Hera village to Moondiya village Section of NH-148N (Total length 59.625 Km) passing through Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve and its Eco-Sensitive Zone involving 26.6354 hectare land. The start and end faces of the tunnel shall be minimum 500m away from boundary of Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve as per condition imposed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). This project shows that development can be done without impacting the environment and wildlife, the ministry source said.
The government envisages building 34,800 km of highways at a cost of about Rs 5.35 lakh crore under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojna. According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 2,921 km of highways have been constructed under the Bharatmala Pariyojna.
“A total of 322 projects in a length of 12,413 km have been awarded under Bharatmala Pariyojana till August, 2020. Further, 2,921 km has been constructed under the Project till the same date,” the Ministry had said..