TN bans night traffic in tiger territory

Vehicular movement will be restricted along Mudumalai-Ooty road

In a move aimed at conserving endangered tigers, the Tamil Nadu Government has banned the night traffic along the Mudumalai-Ooty road, with immediate effect.

Sundar Raju, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu confirmed the ban on night traffic the notification banning night traffic was issued two days ago.

He said the vehicular movement will be restricted all along the Mudumalai tiger reserve on Masanagudi-Torapalli on Ooty road. The ban scheduled between 9 pm to 6 am is also enforced upto Gudalur which connects Kerala.

“The proposal was made one month ago, but the issue of notification took some time. We have implemented the ban along the tiger reserve, but since there is not much forest patch along Kerala, we have restricted the ban only to the place where the tiger habitat exists,” Sundara Raju told Deccan Herald.

Congratulating Karnataka for leading by example, he said that the Tamil Nadu forest department had been restricting vehicular movement in this region for several years, but was now been official.

However, unlike Karnataka, which has total ban with exception of emergency vehicles, Tamil Nadu has exempted vehicles ferrying perishable commodities grown by the farmers from the ban.  The ban will be a jolt to the efforts of Kerala, which has recently challenged the ban on night traffic along Bandipur-Mudumalai and Bandipur-Sulthan Batheri in the Supreme Court.

Bench order

The High Court Division Bench had ordered implementation of night traffic ban following two petitions filed by B Anup Prakash and another by a Srinivas Babu. On separate petitions they had challenged the DC Chamarajanagar order dated June 10, 2009 lifting the ban, which he had implemented through his order on June  3, 2009.

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