A tiger was found dead on the wee hours of Saturday on the edge of national highway leading to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve near Raghuvanahalli in Chamarajanagar district. According to forest officials, the tiger is suspected to have died after getting hit by a car when it was crossing the road outside the boundary. This is the fifth tiger death in Bandipur since January.
There were scraping marks of the tiger’s claws at the spot, and also some tiger fur a little away from the spot where the carcass was found.
Although there is a traffic ban between 9 pm and 6 am inside the tiger reserve for the 25 km stretch on National Highway 212, cars travel all night on the rest of the highway all the time, cutting across Bandipur forests.
“We have filed a complaint, registered an FIR and are making efforts to track down the vehicle,” Conservator of Forests T Balachandra, who is also the Director of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve told The Hindu.
This incident comes after former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday ruffled some feathers as he urged the Centre to lift the existing night traffic ban in Bandipur Tiger Reserve. He also asked if the Centre will consider the proposal for constructing an elevated corridor, which has been opposed vehemently by environmentalists and officials of the forest department. To his question, Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that status quo will be maintained.
At present, only four government-run buses and emergency vehicles operate in the restricted period between 9:00 pm to 6:00 am in the 25-km stretch of the National Highway 212.
In January, the Centre clarified that it will drop the project to construct elevated corridors in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve as proposed under the Bharatmala project.