Kerala

Hunger stir over traffic ban called off

A youth ends his fast by accepting lemon juice from Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran at Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad on Sunday.

A youth ends his fast by accepting lemon juice from Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran at Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad on Sunday.  

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State will support agitators till issue is resolved, says Transport Minister

An indefinite hunger strike staged by a group of youths at Sulthan Bathery in the district against the night traffic ban on the Bandipur tiger reserve stretch of the Kozhikode-Kollegal NH 766 was called off on Sunday, its 12th day.

The youths called off the agitation, staged under the aegis of the NH 766 Transport Protection Action Committee, after Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran and Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan held a meeting with the committee leaders.

After visiting the protesters Mr. Saseendran said the State government would stand by the agitators till the issue was resolved. All the developments, including the decision of the Union government to constitute an expert committee to study the issue, were in favour of the state, Mr. Saseendran said. The State would continue its legal battle to revoke the traffic ban, the Minister said.

Speaking after inaugurating a solidarity meet organised by the committee, Mr. Ramakrishnan said it was expected that the Union Environment Ministry would adopt a stance favourable to the State in the issue. If the NH 766 was closed, it would increase the hardships of the public manifold, Mr. Ramakrishnan said.

An alternative road suggested to the NH through the Kutta-Gonikoppal route was not acceptable to the State, he said.

The State legislature should pass a resolution in connection with the night traffic ban, BJP leader Shobha Surendran said. A consensus should be reached by the ruling front and the Opposition in the State on the issue, before meeting the Karnataka Chief Minister to discuss future steps, she said.

However, action committee general convener Suresh Thalloor said the organisation would resume the agitation if the governments failed to resolve the issue in a time-bound manner.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:02:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hunger-stir-over-traffic-ban-called-off/article29612723.ece

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