Unique hanging bridges in north Bengal jungles to avoid animal-vehicle collision

The West Bengal Forest Department has developed unique handmade hanging bridges in certain jungle locations in north Bengal exclusively for light-weight animals to move from one forest zone to the other.

This unique initiative has been adopted to avoid animals from colliding against vehicles moving on the roads through different forest zones in the area.

A top Forest Department official said that many of these roads are also used by different lightweight animals like monkeys and squirrels among the others, for moving from one forest zone to the other.

“Hence, as a pilot project, we started operating five such handmade hanging bridges in five different locations in the Buxa-Rajabhatkhawa-Jayanti belt, where the bridges will be hanging just on the roadways piercing through the forest zones. Constructions of such lightweight hanging bridges exclusively for lightweight animals come at a very cheap rate, since they can be built out of spare wood and ropes only. The experiment worked out and the incidents of animal-vehicle collision in the zones where such bridges exist have come down significantly,” the official said.

According to Rajabhatkhawa forest range officer, A. Maji, construction of each such lightweight hanging bridge comes at a cost of around Rs 1,000. It is learnt that the state Forest Department is considering constructions of similar bridges in the other forest zones in the state to avoid similar animal-vehicle collisions there.

The setting up of such lightweight hanging bridges is quite easy with the two ends of the bridges just needed to be tied up firmly with firm trees at two ends of the passing roads.




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