While 27 resorts in the elephant corridor in The Nilgiris will be closed down or sealed as per the directions of Supreme Court, the District Collector has identified 821 constructions in the corridor, the migratory route of 900 elephants, connecting the eastern and western ghats.
J. Innocent Divya, The Nilgiris Collector, in her plan of action report before the Supreme Court, stated that there were 39 resort complexes with restaurant facility and the number of buildings in the resorts was 309. Of the 39 resort complexes, 12 were unapproved and 27 resorts had obtained permission for residential usage but were being used for commercial purpose.
On July 12, the Supreme Court directed the Collector to prepare a report action plan on identifying the constructions, when they were made and the purposefor which they are utilised .
Based on the order, the Collector conducted an inter-department meeting on July 17 and 24 and deliberations were held keeping in mind the framework of the ‘Gajah’ report of the Elephant Task Force.
Following this, the Collector and Revenue Divisional Officer formed three teams comprising officials of revenue and forest departments and local bodies to undertake enumeration work, which was done between July 23 and July 31.
The Collector’s report also pointed out that 289 houses had encroached government land and approval was not obtained. On patta land, 78 houses were unapproved and 23 had approval. The teams demarcated the corridor and informed the people about the importance of the area and discouraged them from carrying out activities detrimental to wildlife movement to help the local authorities plan developmental activities in an ecologically sensitive manner.
The Collector said as per the enumeration report there were a number of unauthorised and constructions with usage violation in the elephant corridor. The district administration was unable to take further action since the Supreme Court had issued a stay. After seeing the plan of action report, the Supreme Court gave directions to the Collector to close down or seal the 27 resorts running commercial enterprises without approval.
For 12 resorts, the court gave 48 hours time to produce documents showing approval and valid title and possession for running them before the Collector,. Ms. Divya said action would be taken as per the Supreme Court directions in the coming days.
Source: Read Full Article