If the Telangana government has its way, vehicles passing through Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in Nallamala forests will have to restrict their speed to not more than 40 kilometres per hour in order to prevent accidents to wild animals. The issue of restricting vehicle speed came up during a recent meeting of the forest department with transport and police department officials, besides representatives of NGOs, students, software engineers and doctors who took part in the recent census of wild animals. “A majority expressed concern over injuries and deaths of wild animals in accidents while crossing the highway, due to vehicles passing at a high speed. This is basically due to absence of any speed breakers on roads and warning signals at places where there is a movement of wild animals,” said Prashant Kumar Jha, Telangana principal chief conservation of forests.A large number of vehicles ply each day on the highway connecting Hyderabad with Srisailam, a major pilgrim centre on the banks of Krishna passing through Nallamala forests. The highway is closed for traffic by 9pm and is thrown open at 6am. “We have decided to set up speed breakers with latest technology all along the highway, especially at sensitive zones where there is a possibility of wild animals crossing the road. We are also planning to install speed guns at important locations to measure speed of vehicles passing through,” Jha said. Another issue is the indiscriminate littering by pilgrims and tourists. “Since the tiger reserve is a lengthy route, people take a break in the forest. They litter the place with leftover food, plastic covers, cold drink and liquor bottles and snack packets. Wild animals, particularly monkeys and langurs, eat them along with plastic covers, resulting in their death,” Jha said.