Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): An over 15-km long road bypass and tunnel project connecting two major districts, known as the first 'white tiger habitats' in Madhya Pradesh's Vindhya region are expected to be inaugurated early next month, an official said.
The two projects between Rewa and Sidhi districts on the eastern flank of the state, as per the official, will reduce the existing about 80 km distance between them by around 7 km and help in protecting wildlife from vehicular traffic.
Out of the total 15.35 km long 'Churhat bypass' road project, the 'twin tube' six-lane tunnels run for about 2.9 km. The project was envisaged at a cost of about Rs 1,000 crore.
The project, launched in December 2018, is being developed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
"The bypass and tunnel project is expected to be inaugurated in early November," a state government officer said.
The 'Mohaniya Ghat' area on this route experienced traffick bottlenecks and accidents due to the high gradient and sharp curves but the tunnels are expected to ease this trouble, he said.
Union Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari had recently said in a Twitter message that work was "nearly complete" on the Churhat bypass including the twin tunnel on the Rewa-Sidhi section of National Highway-75E in Madhya Pradesh.
The operationlisation of the twin tunnels will result in "zero interference" to the movement of wildlife in the forests and as a result of the diversion of traffic, the natural habitat where 'White Tiger Mohan' lived, has been found to be restored, Gadkari had said.
In 1915, the first white tiger was spotted in Madhya Pradesh's Vindhya region, in which Rewa and Sidhi district falls.
The rare breed of the big cat, which was caught for the first time, died in 1920.
Later, in 1951, a white tiger cub, named Mohan, was captured by Rewa's princely state ruler Maharaja Martand Singh from the forests of Sidhi district. It later became the progenitor of all known white tigers in the world.
The country's only white tiger safari, inaugurated in 2016, is also located in this region at Mukundpur in the Satna district, adjoining Rewa.