Karnataka forest officials brace for another battle with Kerala

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | M B GIRISH
Published Jan 13, 2018, 7:07 am IST
Updated Jan 13, 2018, 7:07 am IST
One road inside the park leads to Waynad in Kerala and another to Ooty in Tamil Nadu.
A file photo of a young tiger which was run over by a speeding vehicle inside Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
 A file photo of a young tiger which was run over by a speeding vehicle inside Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Chamarajanagar: Forest officials are bracing up for another battle with Kerala over the night traffic ban in the  Bandipur National Park on roads leading to it and Tamil Nadu with the Supreme Court setting up an expert panel to look into its demand for it to be lifted.

One road inside the park leads to Waynad in Kerala and another to Ooty in Tamil Nadu. 

 

Since 2009  traffic has been  banned from 9 pm to 6 am on these roads to stop the road kills of wild animals.

Now, Bandipur forest officials are apprehensive about the expert panel as they say the night traffic ban has helped save the lives of animals in the park.  While between 2004 and 2008  as many as 91 wild animals, including a tiger, an elephant and two bears were killed in road accidents, since 2009 when the ban came into effect, only 34 wild animals have been killed.  

Significantly, there have been no reports of a tiger or an elephant being run over.  Except for a leopard being killed in 2017 no big cat has been run over, say forest sources.

“We vehemently oppose opening up vehicular traffic in the Bandipur National Park,” says a forest official. 

His subordinate in one of the ranges, in fact, wants a 12-hour traffic ban, from 6 pm to 6 am for the safety of the animals. 

“Many vehicles rush through the park at the last minute and chances of wild animals being knocked down by speeding vehicles using  high beam headlights at this time are high and so it would be better if the traffic was stopped earlier in the evening, “ he argues.

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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