Protest against elevated roads in Bandipur today

Save ecosystem: A poster about the protest at Bandipur.

Like-minded nature-lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and environment activists are staging a protest at Melkamanahalli arch, the Bandipur forest entry, on Sunday, from 10.30 am.

In view of conserving the ecologically sensitive Bandipur national park, the activists have joined hands to hold a silent protest ‘Bandipur Ulisi’.

According to a press note, from the activists, “Safeguarding ecosystem is a quintessential thing of every life, especially humans as they possess the ability to think, while other life forms around them are at risk due to their actions. Environmental imbalances due to human interference, pollution, noise, deforestation, extinction of species, etc threatens the ecosystem.”

Mega Biodiversity Area

“The Bandipur Tiger Reserve, along with Nagarahole, Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Landscape constitutes the single largest population of tigers and is home to the largest Asian elephant population. The reserve is endowed with rich flora and fauna diversity and is recognised as a Mega Biodiversity Area in the country.”

“Vehicular movement is banned on the 34.60 km stretch of National Highway 212 passing through Bandipur national park from 9 pm to 6 am (adhering to a High Court order) since 2009 to avoid roadkills and disturbance to wildlife. However, the Kerala government is persistent to lift the night traffic ban. Fortunately, Karnataka government is unwilling,” the press note points out. “Now, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed to lift the night ban with recommendations to build five elevated corridors of 1 km length each, and installing fence, where there is no elevation, to restrict the entry of animals, to permit vehicular movement inside Bandipur Tiger Reserve throughout the day. If this project gets a green signal from the government, it can be a huge threat to the ecosystem, fragmenting the forest forever,” the press note states.

“Fragmentation of forest destructs natural pathways of animals like tigers and elephants that require bigger territories. Construction causes environmental pollution with noise, materials, dust, fumes, disturbance, etc. Deforestation will lead to variation in climatic conditions. Noise and light pollution during night hours will affect wildlife. Increase in human movement can lead to illegal activities like hunting, poaching, etc.”

“Animals like leopards, monkeys and other smaller species that can scale the fences may die due to roadkills. Animals which cannot go to the other side might die due to insufficient food. It will endanger the life of several endemic species and sensitive creatures that need specific environmental conditions for survival. This can give precedence to more such approvals elsewhere in the country, destroying the natural habitats of animals, leading to extinction,” the press note says.

Similar protest planned

A similar protest is planned by another group of activists, outside Bandipur forest on October 27. Contact: Saptha Girish on 99001 05195 or Srikanta on 94823 42796.

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Protest against elevated roads in Bandipur today

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