Development and nature can indeed co-exist and there are several inspiring examples of this around the world. Anand Mahindra, Chairman at Mahindra & Mahindra, recently shared a tweet which once again showcased a green bridge over a highway to allow animals to cross over without any obstacles. While the photo of the bridge had been doing the rounds on the internet for quite some time, Mahindra used it to urge Nitin Gadkari for similar models in India. And the Minister for Road Transport and Highways responded positively.
Mahindra, known for sharing both humorous as well as inspiring tales from around the world, reshared a tweet which spoke of a wildlife bridge over a highway in The Netherlands. This bridge was specifically developed to ensure that migratory patterns of animals are not hindered in any way due to the construction of the highway itself. "The perfect way to coexist. @nitin_gadkari ji if you can make this a standard feature when building highways through particular zones, we will give you a standing ovation!," Mahindra wrote. And the response was prompt.
Gadkari highlighted how an animal corridor was made on NH44 between Seoni in Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur with 'good results.' The minister further promised that such initiatives will continue. "We shall continue striving towards our goal for peaceful coexistence between man and animal," he wrote.
India is ramping up its work on national highways with several ambitious project promising to bring different parts of the country closer together. Gadkari himself had previously highlighted how pace of highway construction should be tripled to restart economy in Covid-19 times and had said that it the pandemic provides a chance to turn a crisis into an opportunity.
(Also read: Gadkari backs road projects worth ₹15 lakh crore in next two years)
The focus on protecting the environment, however, may also need to be looked at as the country embarks on a speedy path of highway and development, and with Mahindra being one of many putting the focus on initiatives like animal corridor, it could serve as a key reminder.