The Uttarakhand Forest Department has built one of a kind eco-bridge in the Ramnagar forest division of Nainital district so that reptiles or animals crossing the busy jungle road stretch do not have to face traffic.
The bridge, which is made up of bamboo, jute and grass is 90-feet in length. As reported by the Indian Express, the bridge is built across the two-lane Kaladhungi-Nainital highway and it took 10 days for the contractors to complete the structure.
The entire amount spent for the construction of the bridge nears up to ₹2 lakh. The highway route to Nainital is used by a large number of vehicles, especially in the tourist season. The jungle is home to many animals such as lizards, snakes including pythons, rodent squirrels, and monkeys.
Due to the traffic, the reptiles are often crushed and their remains are found on the highway. According to the forest officials, the 5-foot-wide, 40-foot-high bridge could carry the weight of three adult humans, and the officials hope that it would even be used by leopards.
Ramnagar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Chandra Shekhar Joshi said that the bridge would be put in sight of four camera traps and it will be studied as a model by the Forest Department.
A forest official informed that the forest is quite dense, and elephants, leopards, deer, and blue bulls move in this area. He further said that even though drivers could spot them from a distance and slow down, but they rarely do that.
The officials further said that in order to attract reptiles and other small animals, creepers will be grown over the bridge, which will be layered with grass and leaves,
DFO Joshi further said that they were experimenting and they want to create suitable conditions for reptiles and other such animals so that they can use it. Joshi further said that reptiles and other small animals were a crucial part of the forest food chain and ecosystem. He also informed that boards were being put up to create awareness for protecting reptiles.