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    Rail Project within Melghat will reverse habitat gains: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

    Synopsis

    Uddhav Thackeray pointed out that big efforts have gone into creating the tiger reserve, including shifting of 13 villages from the core area so that the wild life could flourish, but the railway project would reverse all those gains.

    ANI
    MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has objected to the 176km, Akola-Khandwa narrow-to-broad gauge rail line conversion project within the Melghat Tiger Reserve. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written identical letters to railway minister Piyush Goyal and environment minister Prakash Javadekar opposing the railway project. He has sought an alternate alignment to escape diversion of 160 hectares of forest land for the project.

    In his letter, the CM points out that the planned broad gauge line will pass through the core tiger habitat and will ‘reverse’ the gains in habitat development. “The proposal involves open cutting of tunnels, which involves cutting and blasting of rocks with heavy machinery and explosives,” wrote Uddhav.

    Uddhav pointed out that big efforts have gone into creating the tiger reserve, including shifting of 13 villages from the core area so that the wild life could flourish, but the railway project would reverse all those gains.
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