The Madras High Court refused to lift the interim injunction imposing a ban on vehicle movement during night hours on the Bannari–Karappallam NH 948 stretch in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR).
The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy was hearing a plea moved by former MLA PL Sundaram, who prayed for vacating the interim stay that the court had imposed on February 8 banning the movement of heavy vehicles from 6 pm to 6 am and light vehicles from 9 pm to 6 am on the Bannari–Karappallam road to reach Bengaluru.
The CPI leader submitted that many from the hill villages and school students were affected by the night travel ban.
“The students are constrained to go to school by walk nearly 4 to 6 km on account of the non-availability of bus due to the ban and traffic congestion caused to the route,” he submitted.
To this, the bench responded that schools were not functioning during the time when the vehicles are restricted from plying night hours.
Chief Justice Bhandari added that the court did not passed any voluntary directions and it was the Collector who imposed the restrictions through an order in 2019 to prevent the death of wild animals, including tigers, in road accidents.