Kerala wildlife enthusiasts back night traffic ban in Bandipur

The State Government is under pressure to lift the night ban on National Highway 212 connecting Gundlupet and Ooty and on NH-67 connecting Gundlupet and Sultan Batheri.
The Kerala-based NGOs say, “Without banning night traffic on the Kerala side, the ban in Karnataka is incomplete as there are roadkills even on this side. Unfortunately, we do not have any statistics,” said S Guruvayurappan, regional Co-ordinator, Wildlife Protection Society of India.

Last November, five NGOs had convened a press meet in Wayanad and appealed to the Kerala Government to respond positively to the ban plea.

Though the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has emphasised on conservation of tiger based on the landscapes of Nagarhole national park, Bandipur national park, Madhumalai and Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary (WWS), the wildlife enthusiasts have stated that not much effort has been done from the side of Kerala to protect the forest despite the frequent sighting of the big cat in the region.

The Muthanga range of WWS adjoining Kerala- Karnataka border, according to the wildlife enthusiasts, is at a greater risk due to anthropogenic pressure due to these vehicles waiting to enter Karnataka. NGOs such as “One Earth One Life” have now launched education programmes on the need for the ban in Wayanad and Kozhikode.
Wayanad Prakruthi Samraksha Samithi is creating awareness regarding the wildlife protection in other parts adjoining the region along with Wildlife Protection Society of India.

Alternative roads

The NGOs and wildlife enthusiasts say there are two alternative roads which can be used. Educated people have understood the problem and have supported the ban. “We have Kattikulam- Pannavali road as well as the Kutta Tholapatti road, which connects Mysore,” explained Guruvayurappan.

Another wildlife enthusiast says that the Mangalore-Bangalore train service, if started can address the entire problem. But the private tour operators have been instrumental in preventing this.

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