High Court stays the wildlife course

Highway closed

High Court stays the wildlife course

The court was hearing petitions challenging the withdrawal of the ban by DC Chamarajanagar by Srinivasa Babu, a city-based advocate and party in person, and by B Anup Prakash and the Wayanad Prakruthik Samrakshan Trust, Kerala, favouring the ban while challenging the road-widening project along the NH- 212 and NH-67 passing through the Bandipur National Park.

The division bench comprising Justices V Gopalagowda and B S Patil has directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to implement the ban.  

The court, considering Bandipur as a critical tiger habitat and the second largest congregation of the big cats after the Kanha National Park, issued time-bound directions to the State government to repair the two roads for both stretches.

Fundamental duty
Citing Article 51-A (g), which states that it is the duty of every citizen to protect and improve natural resources, the court has directed the State to repair bridges and culverts along the alternative roads, including the national highway connecting Kerala and an alternative to the existing NH-67.

The court has directed the principal secretary, Public Works Department, to file an affidavit within a week regarding the action plan to make the roads motorable.
The bench has entrusted the NHAI to implement the ban during the night between 9 pm and 6 am. It has also directed the State to submit a status report regarding the road repair within six months from March 9, 2010.

The court has observed that with the traffic density being 44 vehicles every half an hour (as per the joint study by the DCF, Bandipur and DC, Chamarajanagar, in December 2008) moving through the stretch, such traffic will cause serious threat to wildlife.

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