Mumbai, Jan 30 (IANS): Two days after 12 blackbucks fell to their deaths on a bypass road on the Solapur-Pune National Highway, environmentalists on Monday expressed shock and sought remedial measures to prevent similar tragedies in future.
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Secretary Kishor Rithe said that a herd of the totally protected species got trapped on the national highway and jumped to their deaths, while 3 other blackbucks were injured late on Saturday evening.
He pointed out that there are guidelines in place to have mitigation measures on the existing and proposed linear projects crossing through wildlife habitats which are often ignored by the agencies concerned.
Other environmentalists said that there is a population of just around 300 blackbucks in the forested region there and fervently appealed to the government to work out a long-term remedy.
For starters, the Maharashtra Forest Department is planning to write to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for netting or fencing on the Solapur-Pune, Solapur-Kolhapur and other highways in the vicinity to prevent such accidents.
Rithe has urged for an underpass to be provided at this particular point as there are two blackbuck populations which regularly cross and get run over by speeding vehicles.
"The Saturday incident is the worst disaster so far, with barely 300 blackbucks left in this region now. I also demand that a three-meter chain-link fence be erected over the sidewall of the flyover to avoid similar incidents on this flyover," he said.
Other environmentalists like Bittu Sehgal, and Radheshyam Bishnoi have also expressed concern over the blackbucks tragedy and urged for more sensitivity to nature and wildlife to reduce such incidents.
Around 6.30 p.m. on January 28, 15 from a herd of Blackbucks fell nearly 35 feet onto the Kegaon-Degaon Bypass along the Solapur-Pune National Highway, shocking locals and environmentalists.
Opened four months ago, the new bypass road was made by cutting into a hillock passing through a grazing tract of the blackbucks inhabiting the jungles around.
While 12 perished in the deep fall, 3 others were injured and are being treated at a nearby veterinary centre, local officials said.