Help prevent damage to forests and home of tigers from railway line expansion in Melghat.

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Respected Readers,
Melghat Tiger Reserve is the first tiger Reserve of Maharashtra and the 3rd biggest in terms of area in the country (Area-2768 sq km). It was amongst the first tiger reserves made under project tiger. It is also home to over 50 tigers and plenty of endangered fauna and flora species. In terms of biodiversity Melghat offers a great ecological value to the general masses of Vidarbha region as well as central India.

This online petition is in regards to opposing the proposed railway gauge conversion of Akola- Khandwa line which is passing through core area of Melghat Tiger Reserve. 

Development of infrastructure is necessary for the growth of mankind of any region for its future prosperity. However, development should not be at a cost which has irreversible effects on the biodiversity which sustains the very life of the people of that area. Sighting this basic philosophy, we request GOI to consider the following important factors and urge the Railway Ministry to look for alternate routes as suggested below for constructing the railway line in that section.

We have discussed the following points in detail with stakeholders and people of this particular area and therefore we present the same for your thoughtful consideration and for your support.

Original Railway Route Passing Through Melghat Tiger Reserve:

  1. The original route connects only 9 villages with a population of 6950 people.
  2. These 9 villages being in forest area have limited agricultural produce.
  3. No possibility of industrial benefits as line passes through tiger reserve.
  4. No extra employment due to railway infrastructure.
  5. Disturbance to tourism prospects of wildlife due to railway line disturbing the whole area.
  6. Very few people are actually connected by the old route. Also many old villages are being rehabilitated from the old route which falls under the forest area.
  7. Nullify the gains achieved by relocation of villages inside the tiger reserve by spending Rs 127.30 crore.
  8. Length of proposed alignment (approx): 39km passing through Melghat Forest area.

Alternate Railway Route from outside the Melghat Tiger Reserve:

  1. The alternate route will connect 100 villages with over 2,50,000 population benefitting from it.
  2. Huge potential for farmers as this route passes near many agricultural settlements and banana orchards.This banana belt can connect to markets in north so that the farmers of Vidarbha who are already in distress can find new sources to sell their products at a better price.

  3. Here the railway line can extend future possibilities of industrial growth and more livelihood generation to more people of the area. It will definitely lead to more prosperity of the citizens of the this area which has very limited infrastructural development.
  4. The new routes and new railway stations will also be a new opportunity for increased employment directly as well as indirectly in form of small businesses like hotels, shops, etc.
  5. With alternate route the beautiful forests of Melghat, Wan and Ambabarwa will have more animals and undisturbed natural sightings for the tourists which will provide another source of livelihood to the locals.
  6. There is no scope for any alternate railway connectivity if the old route is followed.
  7. Melghat Tiger Reserve is already gained from relocation of villages inside the tiger reserve by spending Rs 127.30 crore.
  8. Length alternate alignment = 80.56 km passing outside of Melghat forest area. 

Keeping all these above comparison in mind the new route even though a little longer in length is actually a solution to many of the existing problems of the people of this area to better prosperity and living standards. As well the Melghat Tiger Reserve will get benefited from this alternate alignment. It is therefore our earnest request to you to sign this online petition and supportthe Tiger and Forest conservation and oppose the existing railway gauge conversion work through the home of the last few tigers.

We have discussed the following points in detail with stakeholders and people of this particular area and therefore we present the same for your thoughtful consideration and for your support



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