O-Valley people want elephant corridor draft in Tamil

Pon Jayaseelan said if the report of elephant corridors is finalised and implemented, the people of Gudalur and surrounding areas will be effected, and they may resort to protests.
Representational image of an Elephant corridor.
Representational image of an Elephant corridor.(File Photo)

NILGIRIS: A section of people in O-Valley, including Gudalur MLA Pon Jeyaseelan of the AIADMK, has opposed the forest department's draft report in which 42 elephant corridors have been identified.

Pon Jayaseelan told TNIE, "Sufficient time has not been given for people to record their objections. The haste in publishing the report and very short period for receiving feedback clearly shows the intention of the forest department that they have already decided to declare many areas as elephant corridors without proper and detail assessment. "

He added "For example a compilation report by elephant experts Sivaganesan and Sugumar indicated there are 25 elephant corridors while another report released in 2017 stated that there are only 18 elephant corridors in Tamil Nadu, and recent findings by Project Elephant reveals 20 corridors.

But the report of the additional principal chief conservator of forest Naganathan says that they have identified 42 elephant corridors, which clearly shows the intention of the forest department to declare many human habitation as elephant corridors  without considering the livelihood of the people."

"If the report of elephant corridors is finalised and implemented, the people of Gudalur and surrounding areas will be effected, and they may resort to protests. So I request officials to have proper and detail study on the matter," Jayaseelan said

Some residents of O-Valley demanded that the draft plan report be released in Tamil, along with the names of the villages that have been identified as elephant corridor.

"A total of 49 villages in O-Valley, including 2547 households in 31 villages,  have been notified as elephant corridors in the plan. The forest department should declare the names of the villages.  Also, instead of receiving suggestion through mail, the forest department officials should conduct public hearing meeting," said R Ranjit,  coordinator O Valley Makkal Iyakkam.

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