Kerala CM bats for elevated road through Bandipur park

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI file photo

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday batted in favour of an elevated highway through the Bandipur National Park connecting Wayanad in Kerala and Mysore in Karnataka.

Vijayan, in a letter to the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, also said the state was ready to bear half of the expenditure.

Vijayan said the proposal was acceptable to the Union Transport and the Highway Ministry.

An all-party group, including elected representatives and National Highway Action Committee members in Wayanad, had recently met the Chief Minister to sort out the issue of the ban on night traffic on NH 766 which passes through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

The ban through the Reserve Forest between 9 PM and 6 AM was intended to reduce disturbance to wildlife.

But the ban has been affecting the people of Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

"An alternate route to Mysore via Wayanad will increase the travel distance by 40 km.

The suggested alternate route is also through the reserve forest.

In this scenario, an elevated road is preferred.

This would ease the difficulties faced by the people without harming the wildlife," Vijayan said.

Public works principal secretary Kamalwardhan Rao had recently held discussions with the Karnataka Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary on the proposal of the elevated road.

Bandipur National Park was established in 1974 as a tiger reserve with an area of 874 sq km.

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