Satish Jarkiholi, Minister, Forest, Ecology and Environment Department
Stop widening the National Highway 4A fromGoa to Belagavi
Why is this important?
2018 saw severe strain on the Western Ghats with floods and landslides. Despite this being a wake up call for the Government, many factions of it continue to disregard the Western Ghats.
There are 3 routes that connect Belgavi to Goa. None of these 3 routes see excessive traffic. Despite that, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has started widening National Highway 4A (NH4A). Here are some problems with the widening of the Highway:
It passes through the sensitive Western Ghats and will cut through thick forests which are largely responsible for the healthy rainfall in the region. Cutting this down will result in water scarcity in the area.
An estimated 22,000+ trees will be felled. However, since some of the land that will be cleared for this forest falls under Eco I class, it is believed that nearly 1 lakh trees will be cut.
The proposed road widening will cut into the habitat of tigers, bisons, king cobras and other animals. This will result in an increase in man-animal conflicts and roadkill.
In 2012, Forest officials asked the Government not to give their approval for this road widening unless the implementing agency provides mitigation measures such as trenches and underpasses for animals. The tree cutting has already begundespite NHAI not providing any of these measures.
Trees are our only hope in a world congested by concrete and dust. Losing such an important part of the Western Ghats will spell doom for us. Sign this petition to let NHAI know that you object to the widening of NH4A.
3. Image credit: Deccan Herald