MLA seeks road divider along NH 766 linking Gundlupet


Gundlupet MLA C.S. Niranjan Kumar has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking development of NH 766 that cuts through Bandipur Tiger Reserve and this has triggered outrage among activists.

The MLA has stated in his letter that there is a two-way road with divider from Mysuru to Nanjangud, but from Nanjangud to the Kerala border via Gundlupet, it is a single road without divider.

As the road has a high density of traffic, there are number of accidents and deaths on a regular basis and a divider along the highway can prevent accidents and deaths, said Mr. Niranjan Kumar.

The MLA submitted the letter to Mr. Modi during his recent visit to Mysuru. However, this has triggered an outrage among conservation activists who have questioned his suggestion.

Joseph Hoover, a former member of State Board for Wildlife, said Mr. Niranjan Kumar had vehemently opposed the move to open night traffic through NH 766. ‘’But now he is singing a different tune and wants a road divider through the core habitat of Bandipur Tiger Reserve,” said Mr. Hoover.

The MLA’s views are antithetical to the recent statements of Mr. Modi and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai who expressed their commitment to preserve and conserve biodiversity, Mr. Hoover added.

When contacted, Mr. Niranjan Kumar said he has sought the divider for the 39 km stretch from Nanjangud to Gundlupet and not for the road passing through the national park and the tiger reserve.

‘’We are witnessing accidents on a regular basis on the stretch and four to five people get killed every month,” he added.

But notwithstanding the MLA’s clarification, the letter to the PM seeks a divider and widening of NH 766 from Nanjangud to Kerala border via Gundlupet. But the Kerala border itself is about 36 km from Gundlupet of which almost 20 km is through the core forest area till the Moolehole checkpost.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 1:21:01 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mla-seeks-road-divider-along-nh-766-linking-gundlupet/article65576599.ece