The Madras High Court has asked concerned officials to consider banning vehicular movement at night on Bannari and Dhimbam due to increased number of animal accidents.
Court has directed the National Highways (NHAI) to dwell into the possibility of restricting vehicular movements on the Coimbatore-Bengaluru highway during night-hours between 09.00 p.m. and 06.00 a.m. and file a report on the same. Further, the Court has ordered the presence of a responsible Officer from the National Highways Department and the Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu, Highways Department, Secretariat, Chennai, to appear before the Court.
A bench of Justice V. Bharathidasan and Justice N. Sathish Kumar was hearing a bunch of petitions which stated that lives of wild animals were lost between 2012 and 2021 due to high vehicular movements and drivers of those vehicles who were not adhering to speed limits. The Court was informed that between 2012-2021, as many as 152 wild animals including 3 leopard were killed in road accidents.
It was submitted to the Court by Field Officer, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) that due to high vehicular movements with unrestricted speed, accidents occur frequently at the place where the animals cross the highways. Further, the Court was informed that banning of movements of certain types of vehicles between 09.00 p.m. and 06.00 a.m. at Nilgiris District on Mysore - Calicut Highways which runs through Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Forest has successfully prevented the loss of lives of wildlife animal road accident.
The Court noted in its order that the District Road Safety Committee, Erode, vide a notification dated January 7, 2019 had banned vehicle movement on the stretch from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. However, the order was implemented only for a few months after which all types of vehicles were plying without any restrictions.
The matter is listed on 28th January, 2022.
S. Manoj Immanuel V. Union of India
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