Night traffic ban: Forum suggests alternative roads to Kerala

The highways will bypass forests and help protect wildlife, it says

The Karnataka Kerala Travellers Forum has written to Public Works Department Minister C M Udasi requesting him to consider an alternative route to Kerala, in the face of the night traffic ban on the road through Bandipur.

Stating that the ban had caused a lot of misery and hardship to people from both the states, they have suggested an alternative route to Kerala by avoiding the wildlife areas completely.

“The existing Mysore-Mananthavady road, if realigned a little to go from Antharasanthe via Hosa Holalu- Karapur-Jaggalli-Gandathur-Machur-Dodda Byranakuppe to reach Bavali, the State border, forest areas can be almost avoided.

Wherever animal crossings are marked, spanning about three km, underpasses can be constructed in intervals of 500 metres, which will not hamper the free movement of wild animals,” the letter says.

Convener of the Forum, R Muraleedhar, said the State government had proposed the Mananthavady-H D Kote-Jayapura-Kadakola-Suttur-T Narasipura -Kollegal-MM Hills-Salem Road and the Kalpetta-Mananthavady-Kutta-Gonikoppa-Hunsur-Mysore Road to be upgraded as national highway. 

“In this, if the Mananthavady-Antharasanthe section can be realigned as suggested above, the forest areas can be avoided to the maximum. This road should be extended to Vatakara from Mananthavady via Kallodi-Kunjome-Vilangad. From Bavali on Kerala side also, a realignment via Palvelicham-Payyampalli-Mananthavady will help in bypassing the forests in Kerala,” he said.

He said this project can be completed in six months. If both the state governments decide to implement it, the project will avoid endangering wildlife.

Mananthavady is well connected to all the major towns of North Kerala like Kozhikode, Kannur, Thalassery, Vatakara, Kalpetta, Sultan Battery, Iritty and Mattannur. Once these roads are ready, this small town - Mananthavady - will become a gateway to Karnataka and Kerala, Muraleedhar said.

“These roads will also pave the way for tourism development in three states - Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu - in a big way. Once these highways are completed, authorities can think of a total ban of traffic through the core wildlife areas in the interest of conserving wildlife and environment,” the letter states.

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