#SaveBandipura trends online after Kerala’s feasibility study for Nilambur-Nanjangud rail line

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The #SaveBandipur campaign is trending online.

BENGALURU: Netizens have launched a #SaveBandipur campaign seeking to protect the famous tiger reserve in the state. They are demanding that the night traffic ban should continue and that the Karnataka government should not agree to laying of a railway line between Nanjangud in the state and Nilambur in neighbouring Kerala.

The online campaign has been trending on social media over the last two days. This follows a technical study conducted for the railway line and the campaign also got the support of Mysuru royal family scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar.

Ravi Keerthi Gowda, a wildlife enthusiast, said, “The campaign is to call for a stop to the technicla survey being conducted by the Kerala government and the Karnataka government should not extend support to the railway line proposal. Kerala has also sought permission of emergency services to pass through Bandipur during the night ban from 9 pm to 6 am and the Karnataka government has reportedly responded positively to this. No traffic should be allowed through Bandipur”.

Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre, who had visited Bandipur recently, had hinted that the government could consider relaxation of the night traffic ban in Bandipur. After the online campaign started, wildlife activists and enthusiasts have vented their anger against any such plan.

Wildlife enthusiast Ravi Keerthi Gowda says a protest will be held if Karnataka accedes to Kerala’s proposals.

Ravi Keerthi said the campaign has received wide support on social media. “Bandipur, which is part of the Nilgiri biosphere, has the highest number of Asian elephants and second highest population of tigers in the country. Kerala previously came up with a plan on a Thalasserry-Mysuru line, which the previous Karnataka governments have rejected. This should also not be supported as it will destroy our forests”.

He said advocate Girish Bharadwaj has also written to the Centre to stop all such projects and to protect the forests. “If we don’t get a positive response, we will stage a protest”, he said.

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