EDRODE: The elected representatives of 19 village panchayats on Monday voiced their opposition to the proposed tiger reserve project in the Sathy forest division, during a meeting with forest minister Pachamal and revenue minister KA Sengottaiyan.
According to Bavanaisagar MLA PL Sundaram (CPI), who led a team to Chennai to meet the ministers on Monday, after the division was declared a wildlife sanctuary, the forest department laid many restrictions even on routine development work.
Further, as per a state government order issued in 2003, people were not allowed to visit the forest to offer worship in the temples there.
Against this background, in 2011, the government recommended to the Centre that the Sathy forest area be declared a Tiger Reserve.
“If accepted, the move would adversely affect the livelihood of 1.5 lakh people in the area, the MLA said.
The government should take into consideration the amended Wild Life Act 2006 and the Forest Rights Act 2006 before going ahead with the proposal to ensure that the rights of the tribals and the local residents are protected,” he added.