Bus driver fined Rs 2.5 lakhs for mowing down monkey
Lakhimpur Kheri: A bus driver has been fined Rs 2.5 lakhs for running over a monkey in the core forest area of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) in Uttar Pradesh.
Forest officials said the driver tried to flee but was detained and the bus was also impounded. The vehicle was released only after the owner paid the fine.
The bus belongs to a local transporter and it operates between Palia and Gola towns in Lakhimpur Kheri district several times a day.
Range officer Manoj Kashyap said: “There is just a provision of fine as the accident was reported on a state highway and the wild animal did not fall under schedule-1. Otherwise, we would have arrested the driver and sent him to jail. The fine varies from vehicle to vehicle.”
According to sources, the bus was speeding at 70 kmph on a stretch where the permissible limit is 40 kmph.
Normally, workers deployed at checkposts keep a watch on vehicles passing through the forest. A paper slip is issued at the entry point to heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses.
Drivers are then advised to cross the forest within 22 minutes. This way, the speed of each vehicle can be monitored.
In the past two years, eight crocodiles were killed by over-speeding vehicles in various forest areas of the Lakhimpur Kheri district.
A young tigress was also killed in a road accident near the buffer area of the reserve on the Gola-Lakhimpur state highway in November last year.
In July 2020, a fine of Rs 4.5 lakhs was imposed on a Gujarat-based tourist bus company for mowing down a spotted deer in the same forest range.
A Delhi-bound tempo traveller was fined Rs 2 lakhs for mowing down a monkey in October last year.