School children from Guwahati create model to provide safe passage to animals crossing the highway through Kaziranga National Park
Guwahati: Intrigued by the affliction of animals in the Kaziranga National Park of Assam, especially during monsoons, a group of students from Maria’s Public School in Guwahati has created a model of an animal corridor that will reduce the threat of any conflict while shifting locations.
Every year, as the swelling Brahmaputra river floods the park and saturates the land, rhinos, elephants, hog deer and a host of other animals are forced to rely on four key corridors -- vital pathways that cross a major road and weave through villages in the surrounding floodplains and hills -- to distance themselves from the rising waters.
The habitats of the animals become increasingly waterlogged as persistent rains engulf viable corridors for the animals to shift locations.
The model was presented by the school students at the 6th edition of the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum 2018, an initiative of Balipara Foundation, held in Guwahati on November 1 and 2.
Upasana Patgiri, a member of the team who created the model, said that the idea was inspired by the regular news of road accidents involving animals on National Highway 37 that connects Kaziranga National Park with upper Assam. “We want to create a safer crossover for animals. The model includes three concepts with a primary overpass through which animals can climb over and cross the highway. Another concept is for larger animals where they can take an alternative passage to cross the highway. The third section includes an underpass for smaller animals.”
Speaking to EastMojo, Biswajit Dey, the teacher leading the team of students, said: “We are trying to embark into the minds of the students the ethos about true conservation through design, participation in literature and various facets of educational tools. This process of conservation is initiated when the students are in the 8th standard so that by the time they reach 12th, they will be proactive enough.”
While the technical aspects such as the width and the feasibility of the project are yet to be explored, the team is focused on developing the project further by participating in forums such as the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics and taking comments from experts.