Five animal deaths in Kaziranga National Park in flood-hit Assam
Kaziranga national park

Guwahati: The Kaziranga National Park authorities have fixed a maximum speed limit of 40 km per hour for vehicles in the sanctuary with an objective to avoid wildlife deaths due to accidents and allow free movement of animals, an official said on Thursday.

Six sensor-based cameras have been installed in nine designated animal corridors of the park, stretching from Rengali to Borjuri, in Assam to detect the speed of vehicles, he said.

The cameras have been installed along National Highway 37 that passes along the southern boundaries of the Kaziranga National Park, the home of the famous one-horned rhinos, and these will become operational from Friday, Eastern Assam Wildlife Division’s DFO Ramesh Gogoi said.

The cameras are equipped with automatic number plate recognising with radar for the determination of speed, the divisional forest officer said.

The authorities used to regulate vehicle speed limit during floods in Assam as animals come near the NH 37 in search of dry land with many crossing the road to reach highlands.

Speeding vehicles on the highway have claimed the lives of several animals, particularly when the park is flooded and the animals cross the road to reach the highlands.

As per the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), owners of vehicles plying above the 40-km per hour speed limit will be penalised.

“Speeding vehicles on the stretch will also be booked for violation of a provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” the official said.

Each vehicle, which is booked, particularly for overspeeding and killing or injuring animals, would be fined an environmental compensation of Rs 5,000 per incident, over and above the amount to be paid for an offence under the Motor Vehicles Act.

“Under these circumstances, all commuters are mandated to abide by the maximum speed limit of 40 km per hour in all animal corridors of Kaziranga National Park in the interest of safety of wild animals,” Gogoi added.

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