Karnataka: Roads sans humps endanger animal life

The road connects Kollegal in Chamarajanagar with Satyamangala in Tamil Nadu.

CHAMARAJANAGAR: Wider roads may benefit road users but not animals, particularly roads in the vicinity of wildlife sanctuaries. A widened road along Edayarahalli elephant corridor, which is shared by Biligiri Rangana Hills, a tiger reserve and Male Mahadeshwara Hills, a wildlife sanctuary in Chamarajanagar, has made the stretch much busier, prompting a wildlife volunteer to suggest to forest officials to construct road humps at convenient distances before animals get killed by the fast moving traffic.

The road connects Kollegal in Chamarajanagar with Satyamangala in Tamil Nadu. Vehicular density has increased after it was widened a couple of years ago, hindering movement of wild animals, observed wildlife volunteer Krishna Murthy, who is also head of the Village Development Committee, Hosadoddi.

Though, the corridor is only three km long, it serves as a vital passage for animal movement. Krishna, who has been monitoring wild animal movement, says he has come across instances where elephants wait for traffic to clear for them to cross to the other side of the road.

Forest officials assert that the road along the corridor has not caused road kills of animals but Krishna says he is worried as many small creatures such as chameleons and birds have become victims of rash driving. To make sure traffic moves at a safe pace through the forest and does not hinder wild animal movement, he suggests road humps along Edayarahalli corridor at 500 metre intervals like in Bandipur National Park. In Bandipur, many wild animals had died in road accidents before a night ban on vehicles came into effect in 2009.

Krishna also wants signboards installed to create awareness among vehicular riders to drive at a limited speed while passing through the corridor.

Accepting the idea of constructing road humps, Assistant Conservator of Forests, P.G. Palya range of MM Hills, Shivaram told Deccan Chronicle that “It could be done as a precautionary measure” and added that some signboards have been fixed along the corridor road asking drivers to keep a watch for wild animal crossings.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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