Reserve Forest in Nilgiris off limits to general public

The Reserve Forest area is being used for recreational activities, not only by members, but by guests of the association members also.

Published: 20th September 2018 03:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2018 03:54 AM   |  A+A-

A view of the Nilgiri Reserve Forest (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI : The Reserve Forest Area in The Nilgiris is now off limits for everyone, including The Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association, and will be open only to forest officials discharging their official functions, Madras HC has ruled.

Justice N Kirubakaran passed the interim order on a petition filed by L.Seetharaman, an advocate, who sought a directive to the authorities to verify the antecedents of newly admitted members of the association in the interest of forest, wildlife and nature and to remove members who are unconnected with cause of conservation and with criminal antecedents.

He also directed The Nilgiris Collector to issue a circular to individual members and public notice to the general public and through websites inviting objections or details of the antecedents of members of the association. On receipt of such details, the Collector should file a report,” the judge said while posting hearing for Oct 4. 

The judge said as per the Collector’s counter affidavit, the association was not functioning satisfactorily and members were busy fighting for membership, as membership gave a social status to claim they were environment and wildlife servants.

The Reserve Forest area is being used for recreational activities, not only by members, but by guests of the association members also.Though it is not stated in the counter affidavit about the role of some of the forest officials, from the arguments put forth, the court could infer that some officials were also involved, the judge said.



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