Kerala to move SC over Bandipur ban

Night curbs causing hardships to traders

The decision taken at the Cabinet meeting here on Wednesday was conveyed to newspersons by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. The government has been feeling the heat of accusations from traders and various other groups for not showing enough seriousness to address the issue. The affected groups have also accused the local people’s representatives, particularly Congress MP M I Shanavaz, of doing nothing to help the cause.

However, the Congress-led United Democratic Front was the first to declare a dawn-to-dusk hartal on Friday in Wayanad district in protest against the court verdict. The Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) district committee has also expressed solidarity with the hartal call.

Meanwhile, the Wayanad Prakruthi Samrakshana Samithi, an environmental organisation, has welcomed the order of the court.

Muslim league leader P K Kunhalikutty said it was hard to believe that the threat to wildlife alone was the reason for the ban. “If so, how can an alternative route be proposed through the Mananthavady-Koota sector which passes through the Wayanad-Tholpetti wildlife sanctuary,” he asked.

The ban, ostensibly to protect wildlife, has been causing considerable hardships to traders and others who commute between their home and workplace in Bangalore and nearby places. The curbs on inter-state transportation of goods, including vegetables at night, have affected the business community badly.

The Malabar Chamber of Commerce has appealed to the State government to initiate measures to mitigate the people’s hardships by ensuring better train facilities between Bangalore and the northern districts of Kerala.

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