Karnataka

‘Maintain status quo on Bandipur night traffic ban’

The Coorg Wildlife Society has highlighted the additional stress that permanent closure of NH-212 will place on wildlife in Kodagu and adjoining areas.

The Coorg Wildlife Society has highlighted the additional stress that permanent closure of NH-212 will place on wildlife in Kodagu and adjoining areas.  

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CWS worried about the fallout on Kodagu owing to total ban

A section of stakeholders and environmentalists in Kodagu have pleaded for maintaining status quo on the existing ban on night traffic through Bandipur.

The Coorg Wildlife Society (CWS), which takes up conservation-related issues pertaining to Kodagu district, has also aired its concern over the Supreme Court observations to study the feasibility of an alternative road so as to decommission the existing NH-212, which cuts through Bandipur.

C.P. Muthanna, former president, CWS, has apprised Sanjai Mohan, PCCF (Wildlife), and the NTAC of the additional stress that permanent closure of NH-212 would place on wildlife in Kodagu and adjoining areas.

The CWS said upgrading the existing road entails widening of the stretch through hill sections and this was fraught with danger to the locals. “Heavy rains in August 2018 and 2019 have clearly indicated that road construction along hilly areas is one of the major reasons for severe landslips in these regions,” said Mr. Muthanna.

He pointed out that as a result of the existing night traffic ban along NH-212, the traffic density on Anechowkur-Gonikoppa-Makuta route has increased.

This has placed adverse pressure on wildlife along the northern portion of Nagarahole National Park, the adjoining Devamachi Reserve forest, which is a buffer zone to Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, and on Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and the Makurta Reserve Forest area along the Western border of Kodagu on SH-91, he said.

The CWS said strengthening of NH-275 and SH-90 as alternatives to NH-212 and linking of NH-275 with SH-90 will put additional pressure on Dubare Reserve Forest and the adjoining areas.

“This region in Somwarpet forest division already has a very high level of man-elephant conflict and as per the 2018 data, approximately 14% of wildlife compensation disbursed by the Forest Department was from Madikeri circle,” said Mr. Muthanna.

The CWS has also drawn attention to the landslips that occurred in Kodagu in August 2018 and 2019, which were attributed to road widening activities in the hilly area of the district. “Widening NH-275 and SH-90 will cause more landslips and result in further destruction and loss of lives during heavy rainfall,” he said.

Under the circumstances, a complete ban of NH-212 was not feasible as it would divert the entire traffic through Kodagu and through the Veeranahosalli-Nagarahole road resulting in drastic increase in stress to wildlife in the region, according to CWS, which called for maintaining the night traffic ban through Bandipur while expressing apprehensions over the fallout of a total ban.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 2:08:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/maintain-status-quo-on-bandipur-night-traffic-ban/article29611623.ece

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