The Andhra Pradesh government will soon ban heavy vehicular traffic in the Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) of Adilabad district in order to ensure protection of wildlife and development of the entity as an environmental haven.

This decision of great significance in the area of Tiger reserve management was taken at the January 29 meeting of the State Board for Wildlife chaired by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and was subsequently communicated to the Forest department here for implementation.

A date for curbing the movement of heavy vehicles is likely to be decided when top Forest officials meet Collector A. Ashok here on Tuesday.

The district administration needs at least a few days to gear up for the situation as a ban could result in large scale dislocation in the flow of goods transportation between North and the South.

By implementing a blanket ban on heavy vehicular traffic through this youngest of the Tiger Reserves in the country, the State government will be setting a benchmark in the field of wildlife conservation, opine environment enthusiasts.

South bound heavy vehicles, including 40 tonner behemoths, began using the Gudihatnoor-Utnoor-Jannaram-Luxettipet road cutting through the KTR as an alternate route towards Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam since the advent of the four lane national highway-7 with toll plazas about four years ago.

Passing through Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts, the truckers save about 250 km in distance travelled and about Rs. 3,000 as toll fee at the 8 plazas on NH-7, NH-9 and NH-5.

“Our survey shows that about 1,000 lorries of two and multiple axles take this diversion from the NH-7 every day in addition to the 700 four and seven tonners plying between destinations within the district,” reveals D. Srinath Reddy, area manager of Roll Mamda and Gamjal toll agency Eagle Infra India Ltd, to show the seriousness of the problem.