Chennai, Jan 29 : The Erode district collector will hold meetings with people of the Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) area on the ban regarding night Travel of public and private vehicles through the Bannari-Dhimbam ghat road connecting the Bengaluru-Coimbatore national highway.
The Madras High Court has directed the collector to conduct meetings with all the stakeholders and submit a report before February 24, 2022 regarding the same.
The Chief Wild Life Warden of Tamil Nadu, Shekar Kumar Neeraj had informed the court during the virtual hearing on Friday, that the only way to prevent the death of wild animals by road accident in the stretch was to ban night Travel from 6 p.m.to 6 a.m.for public vehicles and from 9 p.m.to 6 a.m.for private vehicles.He informed the court that restricting the speed of the vehicles and other such methods are not feasible to prevent the deaths of wild animals in road accidents in the stretch.
It may be noted that more than 135 wild animals including leopard, wild boar, wild dogs, and other animals, died in the stretch in the past couple of years.The forest department has been campaigning for a ban on night Travel in the stretch.
More than 30 per cent of tigers in the Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve inhabit this area of the forest land and without ban on night Travel, there was no possibility of preventing these animals from getting killed.
Justice V.Bharathidasan of the Madras High Court said that the night ban was successfully implemented at the Bandipur-Madumalai stretch leading to a drastic fall in the accidental death of wild animals.The Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court of India had upheld the decision to ban traffic at night in the Bandipur-Madumalai stretch despite several appeals challenging the decision.
The Erode district collector will be conducting multiple meetings with the locals including several resort owners in Dhimbam area.The Chief Wildlife warden has also informed the court of the presence of a large number of resorts in the stretch creating problems for the wild animals.
He had also recommended the ban of night traffic in the entire stretch of 28 km ghat road from Bannari to Karappalam which is 14 km from Dhimbam.
The division bench of the Madras High court comprising of Justices V.Bharathidasan and N.Satish Kumar will be hearing the case again on February 25 after the Erode district collector presents his report on February 24.
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