Karnataka

Roads adjacent to Nagarahole National Park to be monitored

This is to ensure better compliance of forest laws by motorists.

This is to ensure better compliance of forest laws by motorists.  

The Forest Department will soon put in place a traffic monitoring mechanism along the roads adjacent to Nagarahole National Park and criss-crossing Mysuru and Kodagu districts to ensure better compliance of forest laws by motorists and minimise road kills.

This entails introduction of a time-stamped card system for vehicles passing through Alalur gate, Boodithittu and Majjigehalla Haadi, all of which have high traffic density 24x7. A portion of the road also connects the highway linking Mysuru and Tellicherry in Kerala and hence vehicle movement is high.

D. Mahesh Kumar, Director, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, told The Hindu that time-stamping mechanism will help ensure that motorists don’t stop midway and litter the area or cause disturbance to wildlife. In the absence of any monitoring mechanism, littering along the 11-km stretch of road is high as many motorists stop midway on the road adjacent to the forests for lunch break and leave behind plastic water bottles and liquor bottles.

“This shows that the instances of drunken driving through forest area is also high,” said Mr. Kumar. The department periodically conducts drives to clear the litter along the road stretch. A single drive along a 11-km stretch of the highway yielded 120 sacks of plastic bottles, liquor bottles and other materials recently, he added.

The Deputy Commissioners of Mysuru and Kodagu districts have been apprised of the problem and they have issued in-principle approval for the introduction of the time-stamped card system.

The vehicles on approaching the forest check posts will be provided with the time stamped card complete with details on the speed limit to be maintained and the exit time at the next check post. “This mechanism will ensure that the motorist do not hang around or over speed which can result in animal kills,” according to Mahesh Kumar. The forests abutting the highway stretch has also witnessed forest fires and illegal tree felling.

Such a system is already in vogue on the road cutting through Nagarahole Tiger Reserve from Veeranahosahalli check post and connecting to Kutta.

Apart from littering the heavy vehicle movement along the stretch has caused road kills some of which come to light if the animal dies on the road. But in most cases the injured animals tend to drag themselves into the forests and their subsequent deaths do not come to light. Hence a speed limit of 30 kmph is being introduced apart from having road humps to act as speed breaker at every 500 meter stretch.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 8:00:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/roads-adjacent-to-nagarahole-national-park-to-be-monitored/article31983550.ece

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