Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister for Forest Binoy Viswam said here on Wednesday that the proposed buffer zone for Silent Valley would be declared soon.

The Minister was inaugurating a discussion on the challenges in the protection of the newly declared Kurinjimala sanctuary in Idukki district and solutions, organised by Greens, a nature lover's forum of Government Secretariat employees.

The Minister said the formal declaration of the second tiger reserve in the State would also take place shortly. The Centre had already issued orders in this regard.

Reiterating his determination to fight the forest and timber mafia, Mr. Viswam said that political parties should be able to resist those who approach to "buy them out." He would not succumb to threats being received from some quarters.

M.K. Prasad, Professor, who presided over the function, said immediate action was needed to demarcate the boundaries of the Kurinjimala sanctuary.

Dr. Prasad said that when one Minister was proposing a buffer zone for Silent Valley, another was proposing the Pathrakadavu project. Similar was the case with the pro-environment agenda of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and those opposing him in the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Roy P. Thomas, Munnar Divisional Forest Officer, said that a map of the boundaries of the Kurinjimala sanctuary could be prepared in two months if there was cooperation from all.

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