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Death of Wild animals: Madras HC concern over vehicle  movement at night in Coimbatore- Bangalore NH

Chennai, Jan 27 (BPNS)

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has expressed concern over the movement of vehicles at night through the Coimbatore –Bangalore National Highway after reports of death of more than 152 wild animals in accidents.

The NH 958 passes through the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and 152 wild animals including three leopards were killed in accidents involving vehicles during the night movement through the Coimbatore- Bangalore National Highway 958.

The division bench of the Madurai bench of the Madras high court comprising of Justices V. Bharatidasan and N. Satishkumar while hearing a writ petition said that the precious lives of wild animals were lost between 2012 and 2021 due to high vehicular movements. The judges also expressed concern that the drivers of these vehicles did not maintain the speed limit especially in the stretch of Bannari and Dhimbam at night leading to accidents and deaths of wild animals.

The Chief Wildlife Warden of Tamil Nadu, Shekar Kumar Neeraj said that banning the movement of certain vehicles during nighttime on the Mysore- Calicut highway in the Nilgris district that passes through Madumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) prevented the accidents and deaths of wild animals.

The court directed the standing council for the National Highways Authority of India to get suitable instructions from the authorities on the restriction of vehicular movement between Bannari and Dhimbam in the Coimbatore –Bangalore National Highways 958. The court posted the case for further hearing on January 28, Friday, and directed the district collectors of Erode, Coimbatore, and the Nilgiris to appear through video conference during e-hearing.

The court also took into consideration that the 25 km road from Bannari to Thengumarahada has 30 percent of the entire tiger population of the STR and the area is also the breeding area of tigers and other wild animals.