To prevent roadkill, forest dept wants daytime ban on vehicles in Bhimgad santuary

To prevent roadkill, forest dept wants daytime ban on vehicles in Bhimgad santuary

Belagavi: The state forest department seems to have woken up to the constant roadkills on the Hemmadga-Anmod Ghat section in Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary. The department is planning to close down the stretch for heavy vehicles even during daytime.

"We are mulling of introducing the ban on heavy vehicles, that includes the trucks and private buses, so that the animals can come out without any fear," said Basavraj Patil, DCF, Belagavi, whose initiative had ensured the night traffic ban in the region.

The department's move comes after the local wildlife enthusiasts sought for the ban to enable big herbivores roam freely. The stretch, a part of Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, has been witnessing frequent deaths of animals.

Hundreds of wildlife such as gaur, sambar, black panther, sloth bear, chital, mangoose and reptiles such as king cobra have been crushed to death on this road.

Following the frequent deaths and subsequent protests by wildlife activists, the department introduced night traffic ban on Nov 9, 2015.

The ban yielded results as the number of deaths came down drastically.

"Before the ban on night traffic, we had witnessed a death of about sixty wildlife during the years 2012- 2015. We are encouraged to take more protective measures," said DCF Basavraj.

Wildlife activists in Belagavi have welcomed the move, saying that it will ensure better protection to animals, especially the bigger animals such as gaur, which are being frequently overrun by vehicles.

"After the ban on night traffic, the number has reduced to as low as four, but there should be an effective implementation of the night traffic ban. Unfortunately gaur are being killed here. In December 2016, a gaur was killed. Unfortunately, it was pregnant," said a wildlife enthusiast on condition of anonymity.

To make the daytime ban a reality, the department has already sent a proposal to the Deputy Commissioner, Belagavi district. Accordingly, heavy vehicles entering the protected area will be totally restricted while smaller vehicles passing through the forest patch will adhere to the speed restrictions. However, the effort might not succeed as officials from Kali tiger reserve, which is contiguous to this sanctuary, have not come out with a similar proposal.

The proposal is now pending before the deputy commissioner of Belagavi for approval. The DC was not available for comment.

Tags:    Wildlife Bhimgad