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- Context (DTE): The plan for Nilambur-Nanjangud railway line through Bandipur National Park evokes protests over ecological impact.
- The Nilambur-Nanjangud railway line will connect Nilambur in Kerala to Nanjangudi in Karnataka, which is known as the Golden IT Corridor.
Significance of the Corridor
- Improve interstate connectivity while significantly reducing travel time and distance.
- Alleviate traffic congestion on National Highway-766, which connects Kozhikode in Kerala to Kollegal in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district.
- It is situated at the intersection of the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats, on the Mysore-Ooty highway in Karnataka.
- Declared a tiger reserve in 1973 as a part of Project Tiger, Bandipur is an extension of the Venugopal Wildlife Park that was founded by the Maharajas of Mysore in 1931.
- It is an important part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and one of the 12 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in India.
- It is the largest national park in the state of Karnataka.
- It shares its borders with:
- Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka,
- Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, and
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala.
- Fauna: It is one of the last refuges of the endangered Asiatic wild elephant. Other species found are Sloth bears, gaurs, Indian rock pythons, jackals, muggers, and four-horned antelopes.
- Flora: It is characterised by a mix of deciduous and evergreen forests.