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Elevated corridor through Bandipur forest: Activists to protest central government proposal

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Bengaluru, Oct 23: Like-minded nature-lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and environment activists will stage a massive protest on October 27 at Maddur Gate in Bandipur Tiger Reserve against the proposed elevated corridor in forest land.

The proposal to construct five stretches of elevated roads of 1-km each through the national park was first mooted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and was opposed by the State government following public protests.

Elevated corridor through Bandipur forest: Activists to protest central government proposal

However, recently the Centre once again submitted before the Supreme Court its proposal and went on to describe it as a fit case for keeping the road operational 24x7x365, which has triggered fresh outrage.

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"The Centre cannot and should not take decisions that go against the interest of wild animals, forests and people of the State and made it clear that there was opposition to the revoking of night traffic ban as also construction of flyovers through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve as it would cause irreparable damage to the flora and fauna of the national park," activists said.

Night traffic

The existing traffic ban has been in effect since 2009 when the Karnataka High Court prohibited traffic flow after dark on NH-67 and NH-212 while hearing a case pertaining to roadkills of at least 215 animals being run over between 2004 and 2007. Most animals, including tigers and elephants, move freely and cross the highway during night time.Only emergency vehicles and 16 state buses are allowed in the stretch during 9pm-6am.

Cow-dung, changing rural economy fuelling man-carnivore conflict in Bandipur forest

An alternative road has been developed through Hunsur-Gonikoppa-Kutta-Kartikula, which was only 30 km longer while another road via Konnur-Makuta-Madikeri-Kutta too had been developed and both were being used.

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