ADILABAD: The forest department has identified National Highway 363 and the railway tracks in the area as impediments to free passage of tigers into the core area of the Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) from Thadoba Andhari and Thippeshwar Tiger reserves bordering Maharashtra.
The forest department has proposed three underpasses or bridges at identified places for smooth passage of tigers on NH-363 and also at the railway track in Komaram Bheem Asifabad (KBA) and Mancherial districts. Proposals for construction of underpasses or bridges for smooth passage of tigers have been submitted to NHAI and SCR authorities.
The 94.6km stretch of NH363 is being converted into a four-lane road – in place of the two-way lane -- from Wankidi on the borders of Telangana and Maharashtra to Mancherial of Telangana. Road widening works are in progress and the third railway track is being laid. Works are in progress.
The tigers have not made the core area of KTR as their habitat till now.
After Kawal wildlife sanctuary was declared as a tiger reserve in 2012, lot of funds are being invested in the conservation of forests in KTR, but this is of no use so far. No tiger has made KTR its habitat till now. A few months ago, a tiger entered KTR’s buffer area and returned to its habitat in Maharashtra after wandering in the area for few days.
The third rail track is being laid on the route between Kazipet in Telangana and Ballarshah in Maharashtra under SCR and a four-lane road is erected from Mancherial to Chandrapur. Forest conservator of Adilabad circle CP Vinod Kumar said NH363 and the railway tracks have become an impediment in the smooth passage of tigers into the core area of the Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) from Thadoba Andhari and Thippeshwar tiger reserves bordering Maharashtra.
“Tigers are coming to a certain point but failing to cross the NH and railway tracks due to lack of underpasses and going back to their original habitat.” He said the forest department has identified some spots on NH and the railway tracks that are reached by tigers, but these tigers are then going back.
Forest officials say the ‘man and animal conflict’ and density of tigers could be controlled in the Kagaznagar forest division by providing a safe passage to tigers into KTR from Kagaznagar forest division. Many forest areas in the Kagaznagar forest division fall under the buffer area of KTR. The tigers are migrating to Telangana borders from the Thadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra.
Forest officials say a fight is going on among the migrated tigers for domination of individual forest territory. This problem has arisen with an increase in the migrated tiger population in the Kagaznagar forest division. There were incidents of a tiger and a leopard dying after being hit by trains while crossing the railway track on the outskirts of the Sipur (T) mandal headquarters.