The stretches through the forest built last year at a cost of Rs 240 crore also has a 750-m long underpass – believed to be the world’s longest highway underpass built exclusively for wild animals. Between March and December, camera traps have captured 5,450 images of tigers, leopards, wild dogs, chitals, Indian bison’s, wild pigs, jungle cats and porcupines, among others, using the underpasses. Researches of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) are especially enthused that 11 tigers – five adult males, three adult females and three sub-adults – are frequent users of the new infrastructure. They have every right to be, given that WII was fighting since 2012 to ensure that the road construction does not disturb animal corridors in the reserve that straddles Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
It seems to be a win-win situation for humans and animals. Both have welcomed new elevated stretches of highways on the Seoni (Madhya Pradesh)-Nagpur (Maharashtra) sector of the national highway 44 passing through the Pench National Park Pench Tiger Reserve. While the road has made commute easier for humans, the five underpasses and four minor bridges on this 37-km stretch have also ensured that the movement of animals are not disrupted.