A call given by the Nilgiris District Livelihood Rights Protection Forum to observe a 24 hour bandh from 6 a.m. on Monday in Gudalur and surroundings including Pandhalur, Cherambadi, Nelliyalam, Devala and Masinagudy has evoked a good response.

Practically all the traders downed their shutters and most of the roads wore a deserted look. While autorickshaws, taxies and private vehicles were off the roads, government buses plied with a reduced number of passengers.Many of the private educational institutions remained closed.

Security was beefed up in the area to ensure that the bandh passed off peacefully. No untoward incidents were reported from any part of the Gudalur and Pandhalur taluks.

Speaking toThe Hindu, the Gudalur MLA Dravida Mani said that the decision to organize a bandh was taken by all parties and representatives of various associations at a meeting held in Gudalur recently.

Pointing out that the Karnataka government had declared the areas adjoining the Bandipur National Park as ecologically most sensitive, he said that if it goes ahead with its decision to ban night traffic on the national highway passing through Bandipur it would severely hit the economy of not only Gudalur and Pandhalur Taluks but also the entire Nilgiris district since thousands of tourists entered Ooty through Gudalur.

It would subject the travelling public to considerable hardship. During medical emergencies affected persons would be put in an unenviable position.

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