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Concerned Citizens Launch Save Bandipur Campaign

Many concerned citizens have joined hands to launch the "Save Bandipur" campaign to highlight the death of wild animals in the National Park, Tiger Sanctuary and eco-sensitive zone. The move of like-minded people is a fall-out of the increase in the number of wild animals being met with untimely death for no fault of theirs.

To deter Forest Destructive Projects: Joseph Hoover, a wildlife conservationist and former Member, of Karnataka State Wildlife Boardinforms: "We would be happy that a campaign has been started by concerned citizens to 'Save Bandipur'. This campaign will certainly deter the government from taking up any forest-destructive projects in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve".

Nitin Gadkari commits 24X7 traffic movement: He reminds us of the recent commitment by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways to facilitate 24x7 traffic movement in Bandipur (Karnataka) and Wayanad (Kerala)!

Minister unaware of Apex Court orders: Interestingly, Joseph Hoover remarks: "It looks like the Union Minister is unaware or insensitive to the Supreme Court order against any development in the stretch between Maddur Range and Moolehole Range Forest region".

Traffic movement banned during the night: He points out another order by the same Supreme Court banning night traffic movement from 09 PM to 06 AM on the National Highway 766 passing through the Bandipur forest region and connecting Kerala.

Elephant killed before closure of gates: An elephant had been killed by a truck in December 2022. The accident happened at 8.30 PM, half an hour before the closure of the gates, he informs and wonders: "As of now, we are not sure which road Nitin Gadkari is referring to. Is it NH766 or the new road connecting Begur to Hunsur? Or, is an elevated road being planned? Even the Karnataka Forest Department is also not sure about it. One thing we are sure of is that NHAI is preparing a DPR for a four-lane highway from Kutta (Kodagu) to Malappuram (Kerala)".

Basavaraj Bommai rejected the move: Joseph Hoover also mentions: "We should recall that in the discussion between Karnataka and Kerala chief ministers in September 2022, Basavaraj Bommai had rejected Pinarayi Vijayan's proposal for the extension of the Silver Line railway project to connect Kerala with Karnataka. Bommai had emphasised that the Nilambur-Nanjangud and Thallaserry-Mysore railway lines would be an ecologically destructive project and had said a firm "No" to Pinarayi Vijayan".

Only fools will destroy natural forests and biodiversity: He blasts all those in favour of denuding the evergreen cover: "Only fools will destroy natural forests and biodiversity when people are challenged with water security, food security and health security. Whatever the power of the government, whatever be clout of the MPs and ministers, whatever be need for development projects, we have to unitedly and affirmatively tell the government to stop destroying our forests, especially when there is a Climate Emergency".

No compromise on our Ecological GDP: "Yes, we need economic development for India to become a Superpower. But, Economic GDP cannot, and should not, compromise our Ecological GDP. Union Forest Minister Bhupender Yadav has stated that economic and ecological GDP are two sides of the same coin. If citizens are united, the government, will not decimate our forests, biodiversity and us", he reminds.

Set aside our political affiliations: He calls upon: "To achieve this, we have to set aside our political affiliations and shed "this is our party, this is our government" crap. Forests and wildlife have no boundaries, no language, no political affiliations, no religion, no caste... it is the same for Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra...If we are serious about saving our forests, wildlife, and biodiversity for ourselves and future generations, we should write to:

Let us use the "SAVE BANDIPUR" tag in all our communications. We are all in a Climate Emergency. Together, we can save our precious forests and wildlife. "SAVE BANDIPUR"

-Manohar Yadavatti


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