The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday upheld a ban on movement of transport vehicles in Bandipur Forest area.

Allowing two PILs, the court quashed the order issued by Deputy Commissioner, Chamarajnagar by which an earlier notification relating to ban on transport vehicles in the Forest Area had been withdrawn.

A division bench, comprising justices V. Gopala Gowda and B. S. Patil, also disposed of writ petitions filed by ten transporters and directed the state government to repair and make fit the alternate road for movement of transport vehicles during night within six months from today.

The PILs were filed by people keen on protecting wildlife in Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve Area.

According to the transporters, the Deputy Conservator of Forest by a letter dated January 23, 2009 had requested the Deputy Commissioner to ban transport in the forest area.

The Commissioner had passed orders on June 3, 2009 prohibiting all kinds of traffic on NH-67 between Gundlpet and Udhagamandalam (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu. Further it was submitted that on June 10, 2009, Deputy Commissioner issued another notification by which the earlier one, banning traffic between 9 pm to 6 am, was withdrawn.

The court directed the National Highway of India authorities to take necessary action to ensure that transport vehicles are not allowed from 9 pm to 6 am.

It directed Government to start in right earnest repair of roads in places where it was allegedly non-motorable. This would enable users to use alternate route and hardships caused to the public could be mitigated.