State tells HC it is ready to improve alternative roads

State tells HC it is ready to improve alternative roads

The Highway connects Gundlupet and Ooty and National Highway-67 connects Gundlupet with Sultan Batheri. Advocate General Ashok Haranahalli during the hearing of the petition related to the night traffic ban submitted that alternative roads existed and promised to improve them within six months.

“The alternative roads will not be more than 20-30 km from the existing roads, they will be improved and upgraded within six months,” he said.

Anu Chengappa, counsel for the petitioner seeking order against the road widening said that Bandipur being a tiger reserve should be kept inviolate as per the 38 V (1) of Wildlife Protection Act.

“The amended Act, specially for the tiger conservation plan has stated that the Ministries for Railways and Road Transport should  plan their projects bypassing national parks and such crucial habitats,” she said.

Submitting the list of cases of poaching and timber smuggling cases, she said the ban will help curb such cases by ensuring better monitoring.

On the submission by the Kerala merchants that the people are affected, she said that people have already started using alternative roads and the timings of the movement of the vehicles have changed since the ban has been implemented.

Srinvasa Babu, the petitioner and party in person challenging the withdrawal of ban submitted that the ban was withdrawn following political pressure.

The division bench headed by Justice V Gopalagowda wanted to know about the vehicular density passing through the forest stretch.

The bench also permitted the Forest Department to make its submission. The matter has been adjourned.