Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday called on his Karnataka counterpart Basavaraj Bommai here and discussed many issues including development of the border region.
According to official sources, Bommai and Pinarayi held talks related to the development of the border region and night traffic on the highway running through the Bandipur tiger reserve.
Opening the NH passing through the ecologically sensitive Bandipur tiger reserve for night traffic had been a long pending demand of Kerala.
The southern state had also approached the Supreme Court to allow night traffic and filed an affidavit saying it was highly discriminating for the people living in the surrounding areas of Bandipur National Park to restrict their right to move freely, they said.
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During the meeting, Bommai told Vijayan that the highway running along the Bandipur Tiger Reserve cannot be opened citing apex court order.
Later, a statement issued by the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office said, both the states will jointly request the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to implement the alignments from Tholpetti to Purakattiri and Sultan Batheri to Malappuram of the Mysore Malappuram Economic Corridor project as an alternative to the NH 766, passing through the tiger reserve, where night time travel restrictions are in place.
It also said that Bommai has agreed to examine the proposed Kanhangad-Panathur-Kaniyoor railway line project, which will connect north Kerala and south Karnataka, and also seriously consider providing the necessary financial assistance for it.
The two leaders also held discussion on two pending railway projects and few other highway projects, sources added.