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24 hour bandh in Nilgiris against night travel ban

Udhagamandalam: Shops and commercial establishments in Gudalur assembly constituency in Nilgiris district downed shutters today, while road transport, barring public transport, remained off the road as part of a 24-hour bandh in protest against the move by Karnataka government to stop night travel on a 20 km stretch on NH 67 in order to protect wildlife.

Responding to the call given by all major political parties and some NGOs, traders closed shops from 6 am in Gudalur, Pandalur, Devala and Nadugani and private vehicles stopped plying, leading to a deserted look in the entire area.

Attendance was nil in schools, but government and Inter-State buses were plying as usual and some government offices were also functioning, police said.

Citing injuries to wildlife due to movement of vehicles in the night hours, Karnataka government had decided to close the highway from 6 PM to 6 AM on a 20 km stretch from Kamnahalli in that state to Kakkanallla in Tamil Nadu.

The move attracted protest from the traders and other business establishments in the Gudalur assembly constituency, who contended the decision would have adverse affect on Gudalur’s economy, affecting business and livelihood of thousands of people.

The 24-hour bandh was organised by the Nilgiris People Protection Committee, which urged the Karnataka Government to withdraw its order in this regard, considering the livelihood of many in these areas.

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