A mud track was laid inside the dam catchment area

Green activists are sore over the laying of a mud track within the Gunderipallam dam catchment area along the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve and reports of rampant illegal sand mining.

According to S. Jayachandran, secretary of Tamil Nadu Green Movement (TNGM) and its coordinator K. Mohanraj, a mud track was laid inside the dam catchment area to facilitate sand smuggling. This dam area (56.26 hectares) is under the control of PWD abutting the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve.

It also falls within 10km of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in eco sensitive zone and sand mining is a clear violation of Supreme Court orders and subsequent guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Large number of elephants, gaur, cheetah, bonnet macaques, dholes, wild pigs, peafowl, hornbills, painted storks, spot-bill ducks, egrets, herons, stilts, sandpipers, marsh harriers, kites and other water birds can be seen in this area.

Considering the presence and habitat usage by the wildlife, TNGM urged the Tamil Nadu Government to stop all sand mining activities in the vicinity and take strict action against sand smugglers.

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