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Thread: Ban on Night Traffic in Bandipur...

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    Default Ban on Night Traffic in Bandipur...

    Found this article on Yahoo News... Quoting...

    "
    Bangalore, July 30 (IANS) Karnataka's environmentalists and forest officials working hard to protect the forests and their wild inhabitants have hailed the Karnataka High Court's recent judgement banning vehicular traffic at night through the famous Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary.


    The Karnataka High Court Monday banned night vehicular traffic on two roads bisecting the Bandipur forest in Chamarajanagar district.
    A division bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice V.G. Sabhahit passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the action of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Chamarajanagar district in withdrawing a notification closing two roads passing through the Bandipur forest for vehicular traffic at night (from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
    The court has asked the ban to be implemented within five days of the judgement.


    'We welcome the judgement. It's a good news for the entire conservation fraternity. Since long we've been trying hard to put an end to large scale killing of animals in road accidents,' Hari Somashekar, an environmentalist, told IANS.


    Wildlife enthusiasts and environmentalists said that animal casualties from road accidents have been higher than poaching cases in recent years.
    'Because of the large-scale traffic movement right through the middle of Bandipur, especially during night hours, many animals have been killed,' added Somashekar.


    Somashekar is the director, publicity and awareness, Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS), a wildlife and environment group working for animal protection in Bandipur.


    KANS as a part of its conservation measure has been conducting weekend awareness drives to educate the commuters to be sensitive towards animals.


    Over an eight month period, around 10,000 commuters were educated about accident free driving at Bandipur.
    Karnataka forest department had earlier proposed the ban on night vehicular movement along the national highway through Bandipur to save animals from being killed by speeding trucks, buses and vans.
    However, hours ahead of the ban coming into effect on the night of June 10, the Karnataka government said the decision was on hold.
    'It's a huge victory for us. Vehicular ban at night through Bandipur will ensure safety of animals. We're happy with the decision,' said Laxmeesha Acharya, a Bangalore-based environmentalist.


    Echoing Acharya, wildlife photographer and environmentalist Dinesh Kumble said: 'Over the years, a lot of innocent animals were killed in road accidents in Bandipur. Now, animals would have free movement in the sanctuary.'
    According to statistics, around 15-20 vehicles pass through Bandipur National Park every minute. More than 100 trucks carrying vegetables from Mysore and Chamarajanagar and 250-300 sand laden trucks pass through this park every day.
    This is apart from thousands of tourist vehicles that ply on this road. A number of animals had been killed in accidents during the night.
    The sanctuary covering 874.20 sq km is situated on the border of three southern states - Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.


    Although the forest department does not have a record of the number of animals killed in such road accidents(???), experts believe every year dozens of animals fall victim to speeding vehicles at night.
    The Mysore-Ooty national highway running through Bandipur serves as an animal corridor and several animals have been killed while crossing the road at night. The animals killed include deer, wild pigs and sloth bear."
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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    Default

    Read this news, so thought it was related to this post, so updating.

    Rare rusty cat killed
    Subhash Chandra N S, Oct 15, Bangalore:

    A rare and endangered rusty spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) was knocked down by a speeding car in Bandipur, recently.


    The rusty spotted cat is an endangered species. The International Union of Conservation Network (IUCN) estimates their number at below 10,000 in the world. It weighs around 1.5 kg (female weighs between 800 gm to 1 kg) and is identified with its three-striped forehead, thick tail and ash coloured spots. The cat had not been sighted in Bandipur National Park in the past.

    Rakesh Gupta, a wildlife enthusiast and photographer, who witnessed the feline getting knocked down by the speeding car around 7 pm, said the cat was crossing the road.
    “There were reports of its existence, but we had never sighted it. This is unfortunately first record of sighting this cat,” said a wildlife expert.

    This nocturnal animal is shy in nature and thrives on small birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians. However, not much is known about its behaviour or population.

    The nearest relative of this species is the leopard cat which weighs up to 3 kg. This is only the second sighting of rusty cat in the State and the third in the Country. The earlier one in the State was by wildlife biologist Sanjay Gubbi at Devarayanadurga near Tumkur early this year, while the other sighting was at Maharashtra.

    Link - http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...at-killed.html
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Default Vehicular traffic ban at night

    The ban on vehicular traffic along the Mudumalai-Bandipur wild life range from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. is a welcome move by the forest authorities to save wild life of that region.But cant we think about operating cable cars in these regions so that vehicular traffic stops in day time also and the residents of the two regions are also not affected.

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    Default Irresponsible behaviour by tourist vehicles

    While closing the road is one of the options, there has to be constant patrolling of such highways by a combined team consisting of police and forest department.

    Very often on this particular highway, one can see people stopping their vehicles, getting down and having picnic on road side. They also litter the area. I have seen people drinking alcohol on the road side. They feed animals. They throw stones at animals. Some guys have also got killed by elephants while indulging in such activities.

    The best is to catch such guys and punish them severely. Half the problems will be solved.

    The problem is neither the forest department or the police are interested in going behind such offenders.

    Even the vehicles belonging to forest department do not adhere to the speed limits prescribed on these roads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viswanath Devan View Post
    The ban on vehicular traffic along the Mudumalai-Bandipur wild life range from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. is a welcome move by the forest authorities to save wild life of that region.But cant we think about operating cable cars in these regions so that vehicular traffic stops in day time also and the residents of the two regions are also not affected.
    Hi Vishwanath,


    Although the move might seem to be one that is a welcome change. But until the NH is possibly routed around the park premises, even if it means a few extra miles, the problem wont be taken care of fully. Cable cars wont solve the problem as they cannot operate over long distances and would require installations inside the park premises. It would cause more harm than good. That would also not solve the problem of the vehicles per se. How do the vehicles get transported?

    Any thoughts on the alternate routing of the National Highway?
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bibhav Behera View Post
    Hi Vishwanath,


    Although the move might seem to be one that is a welcome change. But until the NH is possibly routed around the park premises, even if it means a few extra miles, the problem wont be taken care of fully. Cable cars wont solve the problem as they cannot operate over long distances and would require installations inside the park premises. It would cause more harm than good. That would also not solve the problem of the vehicles per se. How do the vehicles get transported?

    Any thoughts on the alternate routing of the National Highway?
    Hello Bibhav
    The problem with this particular NH is it passes through the heart of three sanctuaries which overlap over three states-Tamilnadu,Karnataka and Kerala.There are alternate routes available but they are not used by people who want to go to Ooty per se due to the increase in distance, which increases time and hence wastage of time and energy. The cable car can be routed along a route which has 36 (approx) hair-pin bends and is normally not used by the state transport buses or the luxury tourist coaches. Thus administratively the construction of cable car towers should not be a problem for almost 70% of the way which does not come under the forest range. The rest 30% also can be negotiated when considering the savings of wild life and green cover as a result of this project.Since the tourist population is targeted, there is no question of vehicles being required to be carried or transported across.Tourists can use the vehicles at either end of the destination points of the proposed cable car. The government will finally have to decide on the massive expenditure involved. Alternatively, we can think of building roads which are erected on concrete pillars and hence dont cover any foliage as can be found in European countries.But all this required government intervention.The point is we need to save the forests and we need to save the wild life and in that direction no expenditure will go null and void in terms of its future impact.

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    Default large subways

    Hi.

    We could build large subways under these highways at various places.
    For example, if you drive through the mysore - mananthavaadi highway, cutting through Nagarhole National park (near Kabini), you will notice there are many rivulets that flow below the road. At these points, there is a large passage and animals use these to cross the highway from under. It is one of the reasons why there has been fewer or almost nil accidental death on this particular highway. I have attached a picture. In this, you will notice culverts and stones that mark a rivulet below this stretch. There is a nice broad subway at this point.

    Such passages do not exist either in Bandipur highway or the other Murkal-Kutta highway. Hence there have been more accidental deaths.

    Building such subways (animals will get used to it over a period of time) is a far less cheaper option than building an all-thro-elevated expressway.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Tiger Ramesh; 09-12-2009 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Added a picture

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    Default Night ban thro Bandipur withdrawn!!

    The central government lifted the ban and has said that NH come under Union Surface Transport Ministry and has also said that the State Govt has no powers to ban traffic. With this, the Union Govt seems to have lifted the ban thro Bandipur.

    Pls see article enclosed.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...affic-ban.html

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    Default Plea to the central govt. Not to lift the night-traffic-ban thru bandipur

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Ramesh View Post
    The central government lifted the ban and has said that NH come under Union Surface Transport Ministry and has also said that the State Govt has no powers to ban traffic. With this, the Union Govt seems to have lifted the ban thro Bandipur.

    Pls see article enclosed.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...affic-ban.html
    Road killing is one of the major threats for wild animals .they don't know the physical demarcation of roads,crossings,state or international borders.Nowadays 'ecological & evolutionary trap'become a major concern regarding animal behaviour.The inborn inquisitiveness of wild animals to odd things especially man made constructions like roads,cars ,horn-blowing trucks,extensive powerful lights of vehicles attract them towards these and causes the unfortunate death of many of our wild fauna. In spite of the road signs which tells to drive slow, the reckless drivers drive very much faster than the recommended limits especially during night thus causing mishaps. Its high time that our govt. should understand practical problems regarding preservation and conservation of our forests and its resources ,rather than to show muscle power to establish ones superiority.Govt. have to be more realistic,practical & humble to solve this situations.I think order made by kerala high court is much more realistic & central govt. should be more sensible to lift the night traffic ban through Bandipur.

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    Default State tells HC it is ready to improve alternative roads

    Dear All,
    Found this article in Deccan Herald.

    State tells HC it is ready to improve alternative roads
    Bangalore, Feb 17, DH News Service:
    The State Government on Wednesday submitted to the High Court that it is ready to improve the alternative roads connecting the State with Kerala considering the night traffic ban along the National Highway-212.

    The Highway connects Gundlupet and Ooty and National Highway-67 connects Gundlupet with Sultan Batheri. Advocate General Ashok Haranahalli during the hearing of the petition related to the night traffic ban submitted that alternative roads existed and promised to improve them within six months.

    “The alternative roads will not be more than 20-30 km from the existing roads, they will be improved and upgraded within six months,” he said.

    Anu Chengappa, counsel for the petitioner seeking order against the road widening said that Bandipur being a tiger reserve should be kept inviolate as per the 38 V (1) of Wildlife Protection Act.

    “The amended Act, specially for the tiger conservation plan has stated that the Ministries for Railways and Road Transport should plan their projects bypassing national parks and such crucial habitats,” she said.

    Submitting the list of cases of poaching and timber smuggling cases, she said the ban will help curb such cases by ensuring better monitoring.

    On the submission by the Kerala merchants that the people are affected, she said that people have already started using alternative roads and the timings of the movement of the vehicles have changed since the ban has been implemented.

    Srinvasa Babu, the petitioner and party in person challenging the withdrawal of ban submitted that the ban was withdrawn following political pressure.

    The division bench headed by Justice V Gopalagowda wanted to know about the vehicular density passing through the forest stretch.

    The bench also permitted the Forest Department to make its submission. The matter has been adjourned.

    Source article can be found here:
    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...y-improve.html
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 22-02-2010 at 10:09 AM.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Dear All,
    Found this article in Deccan Herald.

    Forest Dept against lifting night traffic ban
    Bangalore, Feb 19, DH News Service:

    The State Forest department has opposed lifting the ban on night traffic on National Highway-212 connecting Gundlupet and Ooty and National Highway-67 Connecting Gundlupet-Sultan Batheri, on the ground that it would endanger a crucial tiger habitat.

    Both the national highways pass through the Bandipur National Park (BNP). In a presentation before the High Court here on Friday, B J Hosmath, Field Director, Project Tiger, and Sanjay Gubbi, Member, State Wildlife Board submitted that the landscape comprising of Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudhumalai and Wyanad has the second largest tiger population in the country, and stressed the need for protection by creating a favourable atmosphere.

    The presentation, as per the direction of the High Court in connection with the petitions filed by the Kerala State Transport Corporation and various other organisations challenging the ban on night traffic, said the region, hosting an estimated 300 tigers is the largest tiger density in about 2,500-sq km area.

    Tiger density

    Drawing comparison with the tiger density in Sikothalin national park in Russia, Bukitbarasan National park in Indonesia and Teman Nagara National Park in Malaysia, Gubbi said that it is not the large area which is needed to protect the endangered species, but proper monitoring of the habitat and the species like it is done in Bandipur and Nagarhole will be a key for conservation.

    Mentioning the problem caused due to the traffic density, the department said that apart from the indirectly affecting the prey, the high beamed light during the night might affect the vision of the wildlife and might lead to shock which requires several days to recover.
    Mentioning about various other threats associated with lifting of the vehicular movement ban, Gubbi said: “Losing even a single breeding tigress will have an impact on population of tigers in big manner.”

    Not feassible

    Responding to the proposal of convoy lead by Forest Department vehicle, he said that it is not a feasible project as the department is under-staffed and the proposal will lead to various complications.

    Justice Gopalagowda and Justice B S Patil, who sat through the presentation along with forest officials, petitioners and advocates posted it for final hearing.

    Source article can be found here:
    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...ing-night.html
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 22-02-2010 at 10:01 AM.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Default Its all about SPEED.

    The issue is that of SPEED of vehicles. It is just not about closing the road at night. Even during day time many people traveling in these stretches, feed monkeys and deer on the highway. There are lots of over speeding vehicles on these stretches (especially Gundlupet - Ooty sector). People stop vehicles, get down, conduct picnics, throw stones at animals, take pictures, tease elephants, litter the ground etc etc. The forest department seldom patrol these roads or stop such activities even in broad day light. The worst scene can be seen right in front of the Forest department's office in Bandipur (called the reception area). Lots of people hanging around, too many shops, monkeys and deer being fed etc. The reception area of Bandipur Forest department themselves have close to 100 beds of accommodation catering to all sorts of people especially to those who drink and play cards, with forest department staff churning out food and meat. All this has to stop. The highways department should build scientifically designed speed breakers. We have to curtail speed. Thats the only way we can protect our wild life and not just by closing roads. For example, those who frequent Kabini area would have noticed a bus service called Modern Travels. These guys drive at > 80 KMPH speeds through mysore mananthavadi highway (Nagarahole park stretch) even when the roads were bad!! Same is true with KSRTC buses and KTC buses. All this has to stop. Even during the day. If we can ensure that the speeds do not exceed 25 to 30 KMPH of all vehciles irrespective of daytime or night, we should be able to protect wildlife.

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    Default Closure should not affect Residents

    I went to Calicut recently and on my way back realised that the residents of HD Kote Taluk and Gundlupet Taluk, cannot reach their homes after conducting business in Kerala after 6 PM.

    For example if these residents have to sell their produce in Calicut/Mananthavady belt during the day, collect the monies in the evening and then get back to their homes, there is no way they can get back.

    The only two routes are Bavali gate in Karnataka (kabini route) and Sulthan Bathery gate (gundlupet route). Both close at 6 PM. No way these people can come back home till next day morning. These people are denied their fundamental rights. Unless the government provides them with an alternate route thats not too long. Such alternate route does not exist today.

    The government should consider allowing residents to get back even after the gates are closed for general traffic. They must be given ID cards.

    I am considering to move an application in the Karnataka High Court. Any thoughts are welcome.

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    Lightbulb

    That is the only forest my forest dwellers like Snakes, Civets, Deers, Tigers, Leopards, Elephants, Gaurs, etc., use for their survival till morning 6.00 A.M. Can we consider extending their survival time?

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    Default

    I hope alternate alignments are created soon. The State Govt. seems to have given 6 months as the time frame to complete these alternate alignments. It would be great if it can be done within that time frame. Our modern planners have a habit of cutting across our forests without any thoughts. I think this case has all the potential to set a new trend.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Default No alternate alignment

    Sabs
    For the residents of HD Kote taluk, there can be no alternate alignment. If they come up with one, then that will be at least 250 Kms long. Right now it mananthavadi to HD Kote is about 55 kms. If at all they come up with a circuiteous route, then it will 200 kms longer.

    Mohan - I beg to disagree. These people have been residents there for generations and the roads have existed for decades. Stopping thro traffic is different from denying right of way to local communities. Their livelihood is dependant on their ability to access markets. Even the wildlife (protection) Act 1972, gives you right of way. It is their fundamental right to have the right of way.

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    Hi Ramesh,

    It is agreed that they are inhabitants for quite long. But definitely in past (say 50 years ago) the traffic would have been absolutely minimal and no vehicle could have run in these forests in excess of 35KM/hr...

    Moreover, there would have been no tar roads earlier. Further the demand for products earlier would have been very minimal.

    It is a fact that the traffic has increased manifold in these forests and more so the speed.

    It is imperative to reduce the traffic and night-halt is more welcome.

    It is impractical to expect people to operate their vehicle at prescribed speed limit when the road is smooth and without vigil especially during night.

    Supposing this area is security sensitve (such as kargil), will people be allowed to enter at will? Wildlife areas should be treated similarly. We have very few area to protect.

    It is a soar fact that people living in these areas suffer adversely. In this aspect NGOs, responsible corporates have their roles cut.

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    Hi Lakshmi

    Then what is the solution for people living there? Why should they suffer? It is in fact the locals who can play an important role in conservation and protection. It is our duty to ensure that the local communities get economic uplift. I am not saying don't close the road. But before you do, give them an altenate route (not 200 kms longer) and without any time restrictions. I will not like anyone telling me that i cant reach my home after 6 PM.

    Anyways, I have a strong case and will take this up in the High Court. It is about fundamental rights of people and that cannot be taken away.

    We should not try to protect one at the cost of the other. We should protect both. Achieving that balance is the key.

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    Default Economic upliftment cannot happen at the cost of environment damage.

    We cannot cultivate in Marina beach or MG Road. We cannot have tigers in Ooty botanical garden or in Mumbai Airport. We cannot have economic development, Stock exchanges, Star Hotels, Shopping Malls, Universities and Industries inside the protected wildlife areas.

    A place for everything, everything in its place.

    Ramesh, Fundamental rights of people is right to a livable environment both for the present and the future generations. That includes our wildlife also.

    Now wildlife shares the 12 hours and we share 12 hours in their place. I think that is the balance.

    All emergency vehicles can enter and business can wait.

    I don't like my animals getting killed in road accident at night in their place.

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    Default

    Sure Mohan. You have your point of view and I have mine. Lets leave it at that. regards.

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    Default Night Ban on Railway Tracks??

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...ing-train.html

    Our NGOs and Courts have been busy shutting down traffic at night on highways cutting through wildlife habitats.

    In the case of Mysore - Mananthavaadi road cutting through Nagarhole National park the road has been closed too even as the DCF of the park has cited only one deer kill that too during day time, in the last 10 years. Inspite of that the road was closed for night traffic.

    Why can't the Court close rail traffic in the night on sectors as reported in this news paper article? What are we waiting for? Death of 7 elephants is a very serious matter. Why can't we have a uniform policy/norm? Why is road traffic different from Rail traffic?

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...ing-train.html

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