Prelims level : Environment- Biodiversity Mains level : GS-III- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
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  • The Karnataka Government have banned night traffic through the road passing through Bandipur National Park as conservationists argued that it is disturbing the wildlife, recently there has been a rising demand to lift this ban.


  • The State’s long-drawn battle to keep roads through Bandipur National Park closed at night got a shot in the arm after the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) informed the Supreme Court that they have accepted the recommendation of maintaining status quo on National Highway 766.
  • In February, committee, which included senior officials from Karnataka, Kerala, MoRTH, MoEF, and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), had noted that wildlife in the eco-sensitive tiger reserve had adapted to the ban between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the road was opened for emergency vehicles during this time.


  • There are hardships to a large number of people living in north Malabar” due to the night ban on NH­212 through the national park
  • Protest in Kerala
  • Kerala contends that the restriction besides increasing travel time, has destroyed the economy of the northern districts of the state which are dependent on Mysuru and surrounding areas for their supply of vegetables, meat, pulses and cereals.
  • Some vested interest
  • state’s insistence on opening this particular route passing through the forest, while two alternative roads exist, has raised suspicion that some politicians could be acting at the behest of Kerala’s notorious timber lobby to whose nocturnal activitives.

Benefits of Ban:

  • There has been reduction in number of wildlife deaths significantly after the restrictions were enforced, The panel has also noted that there is a proposal to connect Bengaluru to different parts of Kerala without winding through protected areas under the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala’ project.
  • With three substitute routes being available, it may be prudent to completely shut down the present highway in due course, not just at night, as movement of vehicles during the day, too, causes enormous stress to wildlife.
  • Forests primarily belong to animals and tribals who reside in them and not to men who carve roads through them.”
  • There must be some mediation done to find alternative that local vulnerable population is not affected anymore.

About Bandipur National Park:

  • It creates the India’s biggest biosphere reserve popularly known as the ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’.
  • It is the natural inhabitants of gaur (a type of bull), sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild dogs, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, malabar squirrel, porcupines and the black-knapped hare. Birds like jungle fowl and green pigeon are also found here.
  • The park is surrounded by the Kabini River in the north and the Moyar River in the south while the Nugu River runs through the park.
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