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Bandipur late night restrictions will continue: Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwara Khandre

Minister IEhwara Khandre reaffirmed night traffic restrictions in Bandipur National Park, emphasizing wildlife protection. Plans include reclaiming leased forest land and addressing encroachments. The government's commitment to conservation reflects growing environmental awareness and the significance of preserving biodiversity in Bandipur.

Bandipur late night restrictions will continue: Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwara Khandre vkp
First Published Feb 12, 2024, 9:06 AM IST

Bandipur National Park, known for its rich biodiversity and dense forest cover, will continue its night traffic restrictions, reassured Forest, Biology, and Environment Minister IEhwara Khandre during a recent press conference held at Aranya Bhawan in Ashokapuram, Mysore.

Addressing concerns over wildlife conservation, Minister Khandre affirmed that measures would be taken to ensure minimal disturbance to the movement of wild animals within the Bandipur forest area. Despite discussions regarding the potential relaxation of night traffic regulations, the minister emphasized the importance of upholding these restrictions to safeguard the park's inhabitants.

"Night traffic restriction will continue in Bandipur," stated Minister Khandre, clarifying the existing policy. Vehicles will be permitted to traverse the forest route between 6 am to 9 pm for travel to Kerala, with exceptions granted for urgent situations such as medical emergencies. However, strict enforcement of the night traffic ban remains in place, ensuring the protection of wildlife during their nocturnal activities.

He also disclosed plans to reclaim approximately 7,500 acres of forest land leased to estate companies during the British colonial era. The reclaiming of this land, currently hindering wildlife movement, aims to expand the forest area and promote ecological balance. To facilitate this endeavor, a dedicated team and legal cell have been established to navigate the legal complexities surrounding the land tenure issue.

Highlighting concerns over encroachment, Minister Khandre expressed dismay over reports indicating the illegal occupation of approximately 2 lakh acres of forest land across the state. Vowing to tackle this issue head-on, he urged forest department officials to provide accurate data on encroachments, promising decisive action against perpetrators.

"We will ruthlessly address encroachments, clearing illegal occupations to restore the integrity of our forest lands," affirmed Minister Khandre, underscoring the government's commitment to preserving natural habitats and combating environmental degradation.

The minister's reassurances come amidst growing environmental awareness and calls for stringent conservation measures to safeguard India's diverse ecosystems. With Bandipur National Park serving as a vital sanctuary for endangered species and a key biodiversity hotspot, the government's steadfast commitment to its protection signifies a significant step towards sustainable conservation efforts.

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