Staff Reporter

Kozhikode: A meeting of voluntary agencies, elected representatives and leaders of political parties will be held at Vyapara Bhavan at Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district on March 14 to chalk out programmes in the wake of the Karnataka High Court upholding the ban on movement of transport vehicles through the Bandipur National Park.

Addressing a news conference here on Thursday, Kozhikode Mayor M. Bhaskaran, who is the chairman of an action committee formed earlier, said the meeting would be attended by people from bordering areas of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The ban on movement of vehicles on National Highway 212 from Mysore to Kalpetta via Sulthan Bathery from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. had directly affected the people of three States.

The meeting would take a decision on filing an appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court.

The Karnataka High Court had on March 9 rejected Kerala's petition seeking to vacate an interim order granted by it on August 5, 2009.

North Kerala, especially Kozhikode city, had been entirely hit on account of the ban on movement of vehicles on the Muthanga-Gundlupet road that comes under the Bandipur forest area.

The verdict would affect not only those commuting between the city and Mysore/ Bangalore but also the transportation of vegetables and fruits from Karnataka to the State, he said.

Mr. Bhaskaran said the verdict directing the State government to construct a new road would entail huge expenditure. (The High Court had said that the hardship faced by the public following the ban could be mitigated if the State government took steps to improve the condition of alternative roads that were not in good condition.)