Illegal trekking in forest areas a cause for concern for Forest Department

The Kerala Government had banned all trekking activities in the forest areas following the forest fire at Kurangani Mala in Theni district of Tamil Nadu which led to the death of around 20 people.

Published: 13th August 2018 03:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2018 03:37 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Private trekking groups and illegal resorts are luring adventurous youths through social media, offering unique opportunity to explore the wild. The spurt in illegal trekking has caused concern among the Forest Department officers as the hikers may disturb the wild animals or fall prey to animal attacks.
Youngsters from cities arrive in the villages bordering forest areas in Ernakulam district during weekends and vacations for trekking. They stray into the forest with the help of local guides or tribesmen without understanding the dangers involved.

The Kerala Government had banned all trekking activities in the forest areas following the forest fire at Kurangani Mala in Theni district of Tamil Nadu which led to the death of around 20 people. However, with the authorities relaxing the restrictions, illegal trekking has started thriving again.

“There are people who lure tourists, advertising Pooyamkutty river is ideal for river rafting. Recently, a group of tourists from Germany arrived at Kuttampuzha for kayaking. They had read some articles about kayaking experience in Pooyamkutty river. We convinced and sent them back. As one side of the river is human habitat, we cannot stop people from entering the river,” said Kuttampuzha Forest Range Officer S Rajan.

According to sources, the trekkers cross the Manikandanchal bridge and sneak into the forest during night time with the help of local guides. They often visit places like Kandanpara, Pindimedu, Urulanthanni and Enippara. Two years ago, two persons had drowned in the river. Recently, the Forest officers had caught a group of revellers who camped atop a rock in the forest during night. The Forest Department has urged the Police and Revenue Departments to initiate action against illegal resorts.

“Illegal trekking is a major cause for concern for the Forest Department. We have stepped up vigil and are keeping an eye on outsiders visiting the area. We are considering a proposal to allow guided trekking at some places to curb illegal trekking,” said Malayattoor DFO A Renjan.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kochi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

Asian Games 2018