Madras High Court.
Madras High Court.. Image Source: IANS News

Chennai, Jan 27 : The Madras High Court on Thursday expressed concern over the movement of vehicles through the Coimbatore-Bangalore National Highway at night leading to death of more than 152 wild animals in accidents.

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.

A division bench 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.

Chief Wildlife Warden of Tamil Nadu Shekar Kumar Neeraj said that banning the movement of certain vehicles during night time 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.

It 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 per cent of the entire tiger population of the STR and the area is also the breeding area of tigers and other wild animals.

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