Hyderabad: Worried over the increasing incidents of wild animals getting killed or injured due to over speeding of vehicles, Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR) is planning to use speed laser guns as a means to cut down the vehicles speed and also levy a penalty on the violators.
The speed limit for vehicles shuttling on the Mannanur to Domalapenta in ATR is 30 kmph but seldom do motorists follow these speed regulations.
There are sign boards installed at many places indicating the speed limits and the adverse impact of over speeding. Yet, most vehicles are driven at high speeds ranging from 60 kmph to 80 kmph.
The 60-km route is a high traffic zone as many motorists especially, those visiting Srisailam, shuttle through the ATR. As a precautionary measure, the forest department does not permit vehicles between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. on the route.
Despite all these measures, many wild animals get injured and killed due to over speeding of vehicles. About 40 to 50 incidents are reported every month. In September 2021, 30 road kills were reported and in October 59 road kills were reported. Since 2017 to 2021, nearly 208 road kills were reported on the Srisailam highway in ATR limits.
Though, in the past forest beat officers used to compile data sporadically, ATR officials have now commenced systematic data collection since September 2021.
Under this initiative, each forest range officer is offered a proforma and they are supposed to report details of any accidents in the prescribed format to be uploaded in the database.
In addition to these initiatives, the forest department is now planning to use speed laser guns to keep an eye on over speeding vehicles. Using the speed laser guns, the forest personnel will capture the images of the vehicles and would levy penalty on the violators.
The speed laser guns will be stationed at strategic locations and armed with image, the patrolling vehicle teams and other officials would either stop the violators at Mannanur checkpost or Domalpenta end, said an official from ATR.
“We have already written to the Chief Wildlife Warden seeking permission to use the speed laser guns. Soon after the permission is accorded, the speed guns will be put to use,” the official informed.
Already, forest officials in the neighbouring Karnataka are using the speed laser guns in Bandipur and Nagarhole ranges. Over speeding vehicles are being fined and this was proving to be effective measure, the official said.
On the fine amounts and the number of speed guns to be procured, the official said modalities were being worked out.
Considering the increasing road kills, Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR) had appealed to the highways wing in the Roads and Building department to set up 22 speed breakers on the Mannanur to Domalpenta section.
Forest officials had identified 22 accident prone areas and the same details were shared with the R&B department some six months ago. But there was no response from the department in this regard so far, a senior official from ATR said.
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