Wildlife activists block road, alleges govt inaction
10 Jun 2009, 2235 hrs IST, TNN
MYSORE: The much fancied demand of wildlife activists for night ban on vehicular movement through Bandipur Tiger Sanctuary has hit a road block with the government ‘allegedly’ succumbing to the pressure of transport and travel operators.
The ban, which was to come into force from Wednesday, has been withheld. According to sources in the government, the chief minister and other senior forest officials at the behest of their counterparts in Kerala and Tamil Nadu had asked the district administration to put the ban on hold.
Sources said some senior forest officials are furious the decision was taken unilaterally by the Chamarajnagar deputy commissioner and sanctuary officials.
However, the officials at the ground level feel that a central government order empowers the national park officials and the district administrations to take a decision. “If the local officials feel there is any kind of external threat to wild animals in national parks, they can take necessary steps,” says a local official defending the ban.
On the positive side, the ban can save tigers, elephants and deers, which are often killed on the road. Moreover, the ban can curb smuggling and poaching activities.
Another official denied that hundreds of vehicles will be stranded if the ban is imposed. It is said that hardly four to five vehicles pass on the road every hour during night.
Meanwhile, Chamarajnagar deputy commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena has called a meeting of forest officials, including Madhumalai sanctuary officials, at Bandipur on Thursday to finalize the decision.