Saving wildlife: Karnataka says no to lifting Bandipur night life ban

Bengaluru: Karnataka has once again said a firm 'No' to Kerala's plea to lift its decade -old ban on night traffic in the Bandipur National Park. The decision was taken at a meeting of the top brass of the Karnataka Forest Department with senior transport and industries officials of Kerala on Tuesday.

The forest officials categorically said there would be no change in the state's stand on banning night traffic in the sanctuary as it was in the interest of the wildlife. Although they gave a patient hearing to the Kerala delegation for over an hour , they stuck to their stand on maintaining status-quo. The Kerala officials showed no interest when it was suggested that they use the alternative road built by Karnataka following the ban on night traffic through the park.

Briefing reporters after the meeting,  Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HOFF), Punati Sridhar said Tuesday's meeting was the second between the two states on the orders of the Supreme Court.

"For us wildlife conservation is of paramount importance and so there is no question of going back on the ban. It was heartening that even Tamil Nadu vouched for our views. What transpired at the meeting will be communicated to the apex court," he added. Kerala wants the ban on night traffic through Bandipur lifted as its economy has allegedly suffered as a result of it .

The meeting also decided to take up the issue  with the Union Surface Transport Ministry owing to the lack of consensus among the user states and do a spot inspection on Wednesday in the Bandipur area to study the impact of traffic on its flora and fauna.

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