'No option to road via Bandipur'

'No option to road via Bandipur'

During the hearing of the matter, counsel for the respondents dubbed the State government’s earlier submission on alternative routes to Kerala as false. The  government had submitted that the alternative routes are just 34 km longer than the existing stretch passing through the Park.

The respondents said three districts are affected by the ban. They claimed that private resorts and illegal safaris are operating within the National park. “They are the real threats to the wildlife. You should close them first,” the counsel said.

The road was used for 200-300 years and the park was declared a tiger reserve in 1973, but the problem cropped up only recently, he said, arguing that there should not be a ban on vehicles unless an alternative road is provided.

Advocate General Ashok Harnahalli in his counter argument said a State Highway already existed and was being used by vehicles. “There is a State Highway and is motorable. We need to upgrade it, which cannot happen overnight,” he submitted.

He further submitted that Bandipur, being a crucial tiger habitat, had been declared a tiger reserve only in 2007 under national Tiger Conservation Authority. He further submitted that earth does not belong to just man. It belongs to the animals too. The matter was adjourned.

The petition challenging the withdrawl of the ban by DC Chamarajnagar has been filed by Srinivasa Babu, city based advocate and party in person. B Anup Prakash has challenged the road widening along the NH- 212 and NH- 67 passing through Bandipur National Park.   

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