RAJKOT: A 32km stretch of resurfaced road on Mendarda-Talala route in Junagadh district, built ahead of President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Gir Sanctuary last month, is turning into a death knell for wild animals and humans as well.
At least a dozen animals have been killed due to speeding vehicles on the road that now has no speed-breakers.
According to forest officers, the road has three forest check posts as the majority of the road passes through the sanctuary area. The road, before being resurfaced, had speed-breakers every half-a-kilometer which restricted the speed of vehicles passing through.
Animal rights activist Dharmesh Kargathra alleged, “In last 15 days two jackal, four spotted deer, two mongoose, one civet, and one jungle cat have died in road accidents. One person died on Wednesday in a road accident. At least six accidents involving five cars and one bike have been reported in last fortnight.”
Revtubha Raijada another activist said, “According to the rule of National Wildlife Board, in the sanctuary area, speed-breakers are required at every 400 meters but the resurfaced road from Mendarda to Sasan has none now.”
“Many animals have died because of lethargy of government departments. Is the forest department waiting for the death of leopard or lion on the road to build the speed-breakers?” he asked.
When contacted chief conservator of forest (wildlife circle) D T Vasavda said, “We have already requested state roads and building department to expedite the work of speed breakers and we are in the process to give written application also.”