District officials reveal that among the so-called commercial interests that lobbied to get the ban lifted were the sand and rice lobbies, besides those transporting cattle and vegetables between Karnataka and Kerala. "A lot of sand and rice smuggling takes place between the two states and lorries carrying these two cargoes ply only during the night. The smugglers' lobbies have pressured the government to get the ban lifted. A top-ranking official in the state government intervened to get the ban lifted," reveals an official.
It's the animals that suffer. D. Rajkumar of the Wildlife Conservation Foundation (WCF), Mysore, explains: "Roads disturb the integral landscape and spatial patterns in a wildlife corridor. Animal paths are genetically coded and if the roads intersect these paths, the animals suffer."