‘Decline in animal deaths after ban on night traffic’

The Karnataka Forest department has been successful in convincing their counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala about the impact of night traffic on the highways that passes through Bandipur Tiger Reserve. (DH Photo)

There has been a significant decline in animal deaths due to accidents after the night traffic ban was enforced on the road that passes through Bandipur Tiger Reserve, said Ambadi Madhav, Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Speaking to DH, he explained that not a single road kill has been reported during night hours since the ban was implemented in 2009. The number of road kill incidents during day time has also come down by more than 50%, he said.

According to sources, 34 animal deaths have been reported in the hit-and-run incidents on the highway since 2010, while it was 93 animals between 2004 and 2009. Around 40 deer have been killed in the last 15 years.

The Karnataka Forest department has been successful in convincing their counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala about the impact of night traffic on the highways that passes through Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

National Tiger Conservation Authority DIG Sanjay Kumar-led committee has recently given a suggestion to the Supreme Court to maintain status quo in the night traffic ban on the Bandipur road.

The Karnataka government banned night traffic on the road passing through Bandipur between 9 pm and 6 am in the year 2009, after conservationists claimed that it was disturbing the movement of wild animals like tigers, bison, elephants and other animals. In an effort to protect the animals, the Chamarajanagar district administration had issued orders, banning traffic between 9 pm to 6 am on National highway 212 and 67, that pass through the forest. The High Court had issued orders on March 9, 2010, which upheld the decision and the issue is now pending before the Supreme Court.

However, the Kerala government questioned the ban and filed a special appeal before the Supreme Court. So the SC had directed constitution of a committee, comprising the Chief Secretary of Union Transport Ministry, representatives of National Tiger Reserve Authority, and transport departments of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to assess the situation.

The meeting was held in Bengaluru in February-March and the Forest department was successful in convincing the representatives about the night traffic ban, said Ambadi Madhav.

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‘Decline in animal deaths after ban on night traffic’

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