A highway to hell: a proposed, inessential, 6-lane highway (NH173) that threatens the forest and wildlife corridors of the Western Ghats, India

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H.S. Sathya Chandra Sagar


 A globally, extensive road network combined with increasing vehicular traffic poses a significant threat to local wildlife, environment, economy, and socio-politics.  India, with nearly 5.9 million kilometers of road, has the second-highest road network in the world; and has plans to exponentially increase its national highways.  In this study, we use a combination of collation of official documents, literature review, and GIS mapping to outline the possible environmental and socio-economic impacts caused by a proposed 6-lane national highway (NH 173).  This highway is set to cut through the low elevation evergreen forests of the central Western Ghats between Mudigere and Nelliyadi towns of Chikkamagaluru and Dakshina Kannada districts, of Karnataka State, respectively.  We further outline the insignificance of the project and recommend workable alternatives that could be considered in the wider public’s interest. 

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