Ban on night traffic in Bandipur forest area opposed

Shortest route to reach northern Kerala

 The Bangalore-based Karnataka Kerala Travellers Forum has decided to challenge the ban on the dusk-to-dawn vehicular traffic through the Bandipur reserve forest, contending that the move would cripple the movement of men and materials between Karnataka and northern Kerala. 

About 200 private and State Transport Corporation buses take this route daily, apart from more than 200 trucks. A majority of the 150 odd private buses and many government buses take this road during night.

Forum convenor Kunjappan said there was a growing demand to appeal against the stay order before the Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court. “A decision will be taken at a meeting on Thursday,” he said.

The route through the Bandipur forest is incidentally, the shortest route to reach Kozhikode and other northern parts of Kerala. The other two rail routes via Palghat and Mangalore take almost double the time to reach these destinations. Besides, the Yeswanthpura-Kannur train operates only thrice a week and has not been made a daily service despite several pleas to the Centre.
 
“Since, we have only one tri-weekly train connecting northern part of Kerala from Bangalore, road travel is the only convenient way to reach our native place,” said Anil, a frequenter on this route working with an MNC here.

With the Onam season falling in September, the ban could jeopardise the travel plans of many. “Train seats for Onam season is already booked. We have only limited special trains and people will be in dire straits if authorities insist on night travel ban,” said  Kunjappan.

Meanwhile, G R Ashwath Narayan, the president of the Chamarajanagar District Bus Operators’ Association in Mysore said as the ban pertains only for the night passengers will not be affected.

The KSRTC officials said, the ban will not hinder their operations. “We are plying two buses at night,” they said. Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner Manojkumar Meena told Deccan Herald that he has not received the orders so far. The ban on vehicles would be imposed soon after getting the copy of the orders.

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