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'It is aimed at distressing nocturnal animals': HC to decide on night safari at Bannerghatta
February 22, 2010

'It is aimed at distressing nocturnal animals':

HC to decide on night safari at Bannerghatta

A division bench, comprising Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B S Patil will dictate orders regarding the interim prayer in connection with a Public Interest Litigation challenging the State Government’s proposal for a night safari at the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP).


22 February 2010

After the presentation by the Forest Department and petitioner Deepak B R, the Bench adjourned the matter for further hearing.

During the presentation, the Forest Department officers defended the scheme by saying that every effort would be made to minimise the stress on animals.

Dr Rommel Mehta from the School of Planning and Architecture and S K Chakrabarti, former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests who made the presentation said the proposed night safari is aimed at distressing the animals that are disturbed during the night hours.

“Most of these animals being nocturnal, their life is in disorder now. This night safari is aimed at addressing their problem,” said Chakrabarthi.

Dr Rommel Mehta said dim and subdued lighting will be used to resemble moonlight and the safari is for a limited period in the evening. On mentioning about the disturbance due to vehicle movement, he said electric and CNG trams that make less noise will be used.

“Such safaris do exist in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China and even in India. This would be the fourth place where night safari is proposed. The Central Zoo Authority has already approved the same in Noida, Hyderabad and Chennai,” Mehta said.

In his submission, Deepak, the petitioner and party in person said the night safari is illagal since it was being located in an elephant corridor. The habitat chosen was pristine forest.

“It means the land belonging to National forest has been acquired for the project,” he said.

The indiscriminate use of vehicles and cameras may lead to the animals and wild elephants likely to break through the barricades.

The Bannerghatta National Park is the only protected forest area in the city spread over 25,000 acres or 104 sq km. It is habitat for the Asian elephant, 250 species of birds, 20 species of snakes, 150 species of butterflies and 250 different species of plants.

“It is only elephant corridor and any permission for night safarai would be detrimental to the interests of wild animals that inhabit there due to the intererference of humns and vehicles," the petitioner said.