The Government of Kerala on Thursday filed a petition before the Karnataka High Court seeking to lift the ban on night traffic on the Muthanga-Gundlupet road.

A Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court, comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice V.G. Sabhahit, had imposed the ban, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., on two roads (National Highway 212 and 67) passing through the Bandipur forests two weeks ago.

The Bench had allowed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the action of the Deputy Commissioner of Chamarajanagar district in withdrawing a notification of June 10, 2009 closing the roads for vehicular traffic at night.

While NH 212 is from Mysore to Kalpetta, via Sultan Bathery, the other is from Mysore to Gundlupet. With both roads being closed at night, traffic between the States came to a standstill after dusk and transporters had to choose alternative roads.

Public pressure

The Kerala government’s decision to move the court comes in the wake of pressure from the people of districts like Wayanad.

The application, filed on Thursday by advocate Suman, said Wayanad got its daily supply of vegetables from Gundlupet. It said the vegetables were generally loaded on to lorries and other goods vehicles in the night and they reached Wayanad and other areas of the State (Kerala) early in the day. The ban, it said, had affected the supply of vegetables.

It said people were now forced to take a longer route to reach their destinations. It urged the court to vacate the interim order granted by it on August 5, 2009. Advocate-General (Karnataka) Ashok Harnahalli told The Hindu that he was yet to get any official communication about Kerala’s petition. The matter is expected to come up for hearing in the court of the Chief Justice by the middle of next week.

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