In a press release issued here on Monday, the Trust has said: “The Apex Court has only directed Karnataka and Kerala governments to explore modalities to allow goods vehicles in a convoy system during the night. But, it is being misinterpreted as traffic being opened for all.” the release clarified.
Regarding the alternative road, Hari Somashekar, secretary of WMT, has said in the release that despite the availability of two alternate roads to reach North Kerala, lot of hue and cry was being raised saying the closure had affected Kerala.
“The State Highway-88 connecting North Kerala and Kutta is open during the night. The newly-laid Konanur-Makutta highway also connects Kerala through Virajpet and Iratti. Taking this routes to reach Bandipur will increase the distance by just 30 km compared to using Bandipur road,” he said.
Seeking help from the people of Kerala to save hundreds of dying animals, WMT has said that Kerala’s tourism will be badly hit, if roads are opened.
“Kerala earns lion’s share of its revenue from wildlife tourism protected in Bandipur. Hundreds of tourists from Wayanad’s homestays and hotels come here to sight wildlife especially the critically-endangered tiger,” the release said.
The release added that several wrong theories were floated by those with vested interests to lift the night ban and adds the sand mining mafia to the list. “After the Kerala Government banned mining in their state, sand is illegally being transported from Karnataka to Kerala during night,” the organisation alleges.