A top official in the rank of Chief Conservator of Forest along with the District Forest Officer paid a surprise visit to a private institution in Booluvampatti range.
According to sources in the Forest Department, Ashutosh Samant Singhar, Chief Conservator from Chennai, along with District Forest Officer – Coimbatore V. Thirunavukkarasu paid a visit to a private land and the inspection lasted for over two hours.
Earlier, the official visited the Booluvampatti range office and also the nursery run for raising seedlings for the afforestation programme. The Chief Conservator is in charge of the Coimbatore, Erode and Salem Circle of the Forest Department.
The official visited educational institutions and yoga centre along the forest boundary.
However, forest department sources said that it was a routine inspection by the official, as he was in charge of the Forest Department’s activities in this region and added that it was not specifically aimed at any particular institution.
When contacted, Mr. Singhar said that the inspection was also to look into complaints of violations, encroachment of forest land or obstruction in the migratory corridor of the pachyderms.
He said that it was only a preliminary inspection. On perusal of records, if there were any violations, suitable action would be recommended against institutions that had violated rules.
The department will take up the inspection of all such institutions along the forest boundary on a case by case basis, to look for whether there was any violation, as part of the holistic management of Western Ghats and to explore better ways for wildlife management.
Violations in the form of encroachment had resulted in obstructions in the migratory path of the pachyderms resulting in elephants straying into human habitations causing escalated human-animal conflict situations.