Raised eyebrows on the alternative route to the national road Kozhikode-Kollegal-766



The directive of the Supreme Court to study the possibilities of developing an alternative route to the national highway Kozhikode-Kollegal 766 did not find favor with the environmental organizations of Kerala and Karnataka, since the main candidate is the Mananthavady-road. Gonikoppal-Mysuru.

The Coorg Wildlife Society (CWS), which deals with conservation issues in Kodagu District, has expressed concern over court submissions to investigate the feasibility of an alternative route to downgrade NH-766 existing, which crosses Bandipur.

CP Muthanna, former president of CWS, said improving the Mananthavady-Gonikoppal-Mysuru road involves widening the section through sections of hills, which poses a danger to the local population. “Heavy rains in August 2018 and 2019 showed that road construction along hilly areas is a major cause of landslide,” Muthanna said.

He added that as a result of the nighttime traffic ban along the NH-766, the traffic density on the Anechowkur-Gonikoppal-Makuta road has increased.

This had put enormous pressure on wildlife along the northern part of Nagarahole National Park, the adjacent Devamachi Reserve Forest, which is a buffer zone for Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and the Forest area of ​​the Makuta reserve along the western border of Kodagu. on State Highway-91.

N. Badusha, chairman, Wayanad Prakruthi Samrakshana Samiti, said authorities should maintain the NH-766 status quo, instead of developing the alternative route.

This route also passes through 38 km of forest, including 18 km of the central area of ​​the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, a major habitat for Asian tigers and elephants, and 20 km of the Nagarhole stretch.

“The trees will be lost”

A recent study by the Kerala Forestry Research Institute found that road mortality on the alternative route is one of the highest in the country, after the night traffic ban. If the road were further developed, road mortality would also increase. In addition, many trees would have to be felled to develop it, he added.

TM Rasheed, organizer of the Nilgiri-Wayanad National Roads and Railways Action Committee, said the alternative route would force people to travel nearly 45 km more to reach Mysuru from Kalpetta.

A study conducted by the National Transportation Planning and Research Center (NATPAC) in 2014 suggested that a bypass from Sulthan Bathery to Begur in Karnataka via Valluvadi in Kerala and Chikkibergi in Karnataka would be the most practical alternative route to connect Karnataka and Wayanad as a section. through the forest would only be 9 km long. Therefore, the government should develop the road, he said.


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