Mysuru: Buoyed by the success of night traffic ban at Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagarahole National Park where roadkills have been significantly reduced over the years, the Forest Department is all set to ban vehicular traffic from 9 pm to 6 am on Male Madeshwara Hills (MM Hills) Wildlife Sanctuary road and roads that cut through Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. The rule will be implemented in two months.
At present, the night traffic ban has been enforced at Bandipur and Nagarahole since many years and this decision has brought down roadkills. Even the wild animals are accustomed to this ban and are found roaming freely on the roads during nights. The decision, however, has been opposed by Kerala Government that has gone to Supreme Court that has upheld the Forest Department rules.
The communication on implementing the night traffic ban was sent from the office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Bengaluru to the office of Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Kollegal three months back. Kollegal DCF V. Yedukondalu told Star of Mysore this morning that a meeting will soon be held with officials from Forest Department, Chamarajanagar DC Office, MM Hills Development Authority and Male Madeshwara Temple Management Committee to enforce the ban.
The ban will be implemented on the road from Taalu Betta to MM Hills (30 kms), Taalu Betta to Pollachi (30-40 kms) in Tamil Nadu, MM Hills to Mettur in Tamil Nadu Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary that connects Hogennakal Waterfalls near Kanakapura (20 kms). “The ban will be enforced from 9 pm to 6 am on the lines of night traffic bans at Bandipur and Nagarahole,” the DCF said.
State Highway 38 connects Kollegal to Sathyamangala and it passes between BRT Tiger Reserve and M.M. Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. The other road passing through Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary is used mainly by tourists and locals to reach Sangama and Mekedatu. The roads cutting through the forests are close to Edayarhalli-Doddasampige elephant corridor.
The night traffic ban will be relaxed during the Male Madeshwara Jaatre and on the occasions of special pujas at the temple where thousands of devotees throng the Hill temple, DCF Yedukondalu added.
On an average, over 50 buses from Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu travel on these roads every day apart from hundreds of vehicles. “Every night, a fixed number of vehicles including ambulances from both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will be allowed to pass through the roads. We will follow the same model as Bandipur,” he said.
Yedukondalu added that as there are many human settlements on the road that passes through the forests, passes will be issued to dwellers so that their vehicles can pass through the check posts.