The declaration of some areas near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) as a buffer zone will not affect the people residing there, said the Forest Minister, K.T. Pachaimal, while speaking to presspersons at Gudalur on Friday.

Pointing out that the proposal for a buffer zone had been mooted in 2007 during the previous regime, he said that it was coming into effect now.

Affidavit filed

Following the ban on tourism in the MTR imposed by the Apex Court, the government has filed an affidavit.

When asked about the status of the Section 17 lands in and around Gudalur, he said that the issue is being handled by the Chief Minister.

As regards matters relating to the Tamil Nadu Preservation of Private Forests Act, he said that a high-level committee is looking into them.

It will visit the Nilgiris soon, he added.

On the escalating man-wild elephant conflict, Mr. Pachaimal said that a sum of Rs. 10.5 crore has been sanctioned for digging trenches over about 82 km. He addressed a gathering at Dharmagiri, near Gudalur.

Petitions received

Earlier, he visited a number of places, including Choondi, Challivayal, Pandiyar Tea Division, Pandhalur, Kundaladi and Nellakottai, and received petitions.

He also inspected some of the Section 17 lands, which had been handed over to the forest department.

Among those who accompanied the minister during the visit to various areas were the Secretary, Environment and Forests, C.V. Shanker, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Gautam Dey, and the Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore, V.T. Kandasamy.

  • Proposal for a buffer zone near MTR

    mooted in 2007

  • A sum of Rs. 10.5 crore sanctioned for digging trenches