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The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has prepared a proposal for construction of two tunnels on the southern stretch of railway track running through the Deepor Beel area.

The NFR has taken this step according to the suggestion of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun.

The WII has made the suggestion to NFR to prevent elephants from being knocked down by running trains on this stretch of railway track running through the water body, reports The Assam Tribune.

This was stated by the NFR in its affidavit before the Kolkata-based Eastern Zone (EZ) Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the Rohit Choudhury versus Union of India case on the issue of railway-related elephant mortalities in the area.

The NFR in its affidavit said that it has prepared a proposal , along with a working drawing for permanent mitigation of the problem and submitted it to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden of the State and all the departments concerned for their decisions on it.

The NFR said its proposal involves the Public Works Department on roads, the Power Grid Corporation, the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner for land and other measures, etc.

The salient features of the proposal are construction of two tunnels, each having a length of 570 metres for accommodating the rail tracks – the existing one and the under-construction double line, with a provision of elephant corridor over these tunnels.

In order to make a path for elephant movement across the proposed tunnels, earthwork will be done from the hill side and sloped towards the Deepor Beel side.

For construction of the proposed ramp of the corridor to approach Deepor Beel, approximately 65,550 square metres (570 metres by 115 metres) of land shall be used towards the water body side, beyond the Railway land for which the decision of the State authorities is required, the NFR affidavit stated.

About 1.1 km of the existing PWD road is also proposed for realignment by diverting and elevating it towards the hill above the tunnel.

The NFR in its affidavit also stated that for construction of the sloping ramp for elephants, two 33 kV high tension electrical towers of the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd and the forest office complex, including the watch tower, shall be required to be relocated.

The NFR has conducted a survey of the Deepor Beel area to check the feasibility of constructing a railway tunnel between Gates No.273 and 274 on the south bank rail track running through the water body.

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