Bandipur is located in the South Indian state of Karnataka, the state which has the highest tiger population in India. Bandipur is largely known for its wildlife and picturesque landscapes.
In 2009, the Karnataka government took the initiative to ban the traffic flowing through Bandipur tiger reserve from 9 Pm to 6 Am. This step was taken to stop the increasing volume of road accidents taking place in that region. More than 200 animals were run over by vehicles before the ban.
Recently, the centre had proposed to lift the ban, provided adequate protection measures were taken. But, the state forest department was not in its favour.
This issue turned into a controversy when the ministry of road transport and highway got Karnataka’s approval for lifting night traffic ban and approving a project to construct elevated roads or flyovers in Bandipur, which triggered outrage amongst conservationists. From the past couple of months, the naturalists and conservationists were protesting against this movement after they cited the recent deaths of wild animals including, the death of a barking deer which was crossing the road at night to get to the nearest waterhole was hit by a speeding bus.
Last month, Karnataka PWD minister had said that the state government was considering to build flyovers every 2 kms. This construction will take place in such a way that it won’t destroy ecology or hurt wild animals and the amount of road accidents will also be decreased. In addition, barriers will also be set up to curb the speed of vehicles along critical areas where animals tend to cross the highway in search of water holes.