Bandipur traffic: indefinite stir at Wayanad called off

A two-wheeler rally is taken out from Kozhikode to Wayanad on Sunday to express solidarity with the stir against Bandipura traffic restriction.

The 12-day long indefinite stir at Wayanad in Kerala against the traffic restrictions along NH 766 passing through Bandipur tiger reserve was called off on Sunday.

Kerala Transport Minister A K Saseedran called on the agitators and assured that if the Ministry of Environment and Forest took a stand against Kerala's interest at the Supreme Court on the Bandipur traffic restriction issue, the Kerala government would make strong interventions. The Kerala government would also depute a high-level delegation to hold talks with Karanataka government to find a consensus on the matter. Based on these assurances, the NH 766 Protection Action Committee called off the stir by evening.

The action committee leader Anto George said that the Kerala minister also assured to raise the issue in Kerala assembly and discuss measures to over come the difficulties caused to the people by the traffic restrictions.

The stir had been drawing huge support from various quarters over the last 12 days. Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi came down and expressed solidarity with the stir which had participation of all political parties. On Sunday also, a mass rally was organised at Sulthan Batherry in Wayanad to express solidarity with the stir.

The present stir was triggered mainly by reported moves that the NH 766 along Bandipur might be shut down permanently as per the Supreme Court's suggestion to strengthen the alternative route. However, the Karnataka forest department on Saturday clarified that there were no proposals or orders for a complete ban on traffic on NH 766 along Bandipur tiger reserve. Only the night traffic ban along the tiger reserve would continue.

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