Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bandipur Roadkills Campaign - 13/14 June 2009

With the Bandipur traffic restriction plans in the news, we decided to prepone the roadkills awareness campaign by a week. Sunil Gaikwad and I left from Bangalore in the morning in my Thunderbird, with the rest of the gang supposed to leave Bangalore on sat afternoon and meet at Gundlupet by evening. Sunil and I reached Nanjangud by 11 am and deviated to Chamarajnagar to have a word with the District Commissioner Mr. Manoj Kumar Meena regarding the opposition he was facing in implementing the ban. Try as we did, we could not meet him since he was not in office and when we visited his residence, the security did not allow us to meet him. Despondently, we returned to Nanjangud and headed to Gundlupet where we were joined by the rest of the guys by around 7 pm. After finishing our dinner, all of us headed to the Kekkanahalla check-post. Sunil and I retired for the night while the rest gamely took up their duty of stopping the vehicles and advising them about safe driving in the forest.

Since a lot of opposition for the ban had come from businessmen, traders and transporters, KANS did a quick check on the types of vehicles that traverse the forest between 9pm and 6am. The results of the study were:
1. Trucks carrying flowers from Ooty to Banglaore ply at night. They are plucked in the evening and have to be transported over the night to keep the freshness intact.
2. SKS has 2 buses plying every night, one plying from Kerala to Bangalore and other one Bangalore to Kerala.
3. 20 Karnataka Government Buses ply every night: 10 from Bangalore and 10 from other States.
4. 9 Kerala Government Buses ply every night: 5 from Kerala and 4 from Bangalore.
5. 8 Tamil Nadu Government Buses ply every night: 5 from TN and 3 from Bangalore.
6. Thursday and Friday nights experience heavy interstate truck movements carrying Rice, Sugar and Vegetables.
7. Vegetable Trucks on Saturday from Manjari (Kerala) ply towards Hassan travelling in the night to reach morning Sunday market.
8. Trucks squeezed with 1000 of ducks/chickens travel in the night because that causes less stress for the birds and hence less number of deaths.
9. It is tough for the concerned authorities to check these trucks in the night, many travels in the night to avoid payment of Regular Marketing Committee and they can also skip checking of documents in the night.
10. When a road kill of wildlife happens, the guards are generally informed of this by the passing by vehicles. The guard checks the animal and calls the doctor. Postmortem is done and the body is either burned or buried (incase no wood available to burn it). Finally record the road kill in Majjir (we did not get this word; assume some kind of record book). It is very difficult to track the offenders.

Our vigil was called off in the morning. After breakfast and some photopgraphy, we headed to Gudalur to visit the farm of our fellow KANS member, Bala, called Jungle Home. After enjoying the hospitality, which included some delicacies made from jack-fruit and a tour of his resort and a round of horse-riding, we decided to leg it back to Bengaluru by around 3pm and reached home eventually by 11 pm after completing hard but satisfying ride of 725 kms over 2 days.

Laxmeesha Acharya
Kenneth Anderson Nature Society

Soumyajit Nandy
Rakesh Gupta
Vasanth Kumar
Satish Pari
Sunil Gaikwad
Prakash Matada



Blogger Sanjeev said...

I think mahajar is some kind of a statement recorded by the official on duty describing what has happened.

July 5, 2009 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger Sanjeev said...

Are there many private vehicles moving about at night in addition to buses?

July 5, 2009 at 12:16 AM  

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