COIMBATORE: Bharathiyar University is constructing buildings over a part of an important elephant corridor, which connects the Boluvampatti forest range with Coimbatore forest range, without getting proper approval from the local planning authority.
The construction has raised concerns among environmentalists and forest department, who are demanding that the area adjoining the Maruthamalai to be included under Hill Area Conservation Authority.
Express found that the buildings are being raised behind the main campus for construction of hostels. However, it is one of the key routes through which the animals use to cross over the plains and move from Boluvampatty forests to the Coimbatore forest range.
Environmentalists now have ascertained that this move would only bring more problems as with little space left for the elephants, it would enter Vadavalli town. The area which was not mentioned in villages under the Hill Area Conservation Authority has further increased developmental activities in the region and many have come right in the elephant corridor. The forest department has already written to the government demanding to include the area under HACA.
When contacted S Chandrasekar, member secretary, Local Planning Authority, said they were yet to receive any building approval plan for clearance for the work under taken by the Bharathiyar University. A senior engineer involved with the project, on conditions of anonymity said for most of the government projects, approval were taken later.
However James Pitchai, V-C, Bharathiyar University, claimed that the construction has been taken up only after getting approvals. The UGC has approved the construction and `5 crore has been allocated for the work. The engineers should have taken all the approval, before the work begin, he added.