Roy Mathew

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Revenue Minister K. P. Rajendran on Monday directed the Idukki Collector to take action against encroachments near the Lockhart gap, near Munnar, in the district.

At least a few people have encroached upon the mountain slopes on the sides of the road from Munnar to Thekkady road. One of them, a trader in Munnar, used a JCB on Sunday to build a road to the small plateau above. Others have planted eucalyptus and other trees on the land encroached by them.

The location is an ecologically, geologically and aesthetically important area where kurinji plants had bloomed four years ago.

Meanwhile, a report from the Devikulam Sub-Collector on the encroachments in the Kannan Devan Hills and other areas is awaiting decisions by the Cabinet. A survey has shown that about 130 parties have encroached upon revenue land in different places over the years.

Poet Sugathakumari who was in Munnar in connection with the Kurinji festival, spoke to the officials about the encroachment.

The Revenue Minister issued the orders after that.