Jairam Ramesh, the central minister in charge of the environment and forest ministry in India, recently questioned the detractors of the proposal to divert the stretch of NH7 between Seoni and Nagpur. This stretch of about 130 KM passes through a critical area within Pench Tiger Reserve in central India, and it is feared that maintenance and up-gradation of the national highway would do irreparable damage to the protected area. The supreme court of India has put a stay on the highway up-gradation.
The diversion proposed via Chhindwara would increase the distance by about 40 KM, which is not a big price considering the damage that would be done otherwise. Chhindwara is an upcoming industrial town and this could also help the local people.