Wayanad: The indefinite hunger strike against the night traffic ban on Kozhikode-Bengaluru National Highway (NH 766) began at Swathanthra Maithan, Sulthan Bathery, on Wednesday.
Those on fast under the umbrella of Transportation Protection Committee in the first phase include Youth Congress state secretary R. Rajesh Kumar, DYFI district joint secretary Lijo Johny, Yuva Morcha mandalam president Sineesh Vakeri and 'Freedom to Move' coordinator Safeer Pazheri.
The action council of 15 youth organisations is also planning a joint protest of people from Kerala and Karnataka at the border to pressure both governments to lift the ban.
Meanwhile, UDF district committee announced a 24-hour hartal on October 5 in protest against the reported move for a total ban on traffic through NH 766.
The limited movement would affect all sections of people, including students, farmers, traders, the sick and holidaymakers.
Thousands of labourers from Karnataka travel to Wayanad during harvest season while ginger farmers from the state move to Karnataka daily.
Many people travel to Mysore and Bengaluru on this route as the alternative road is circuitous and lengthy.
The Supreme Court in a recent verdict had directed the Union ministry of forests and environment to think of a permanent closure of the NH 766 after raising the alternative Kutta-Gonikoppal road to national standards.
It was Manoj Kumar Meena, the district collector of Chamaraj Nagar in Karnataka, who passed the ban orders on 'night traffic' through NH 766 and NH 67 (Gundlupet-Ooty Road), both passing through Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary on June 3, 2009.
Though the former government lifted the ban, the Karnataka High Court restored it citing environmental reasons....