Staff Reporter

Forest Department to acquire 398 acres from private parties

Dharmapuri: The Forest Department will acquire 398 acres from private parties to expand the elephant corridor in Moyar and Kottagiri-Kalar-Jakkanari forests, said Chief Conservator of Forests Balaji here on Sunday.

The expansion of agricultural areas (encroachments) on the traditional migratory corridor of the elephants had resulted in them moving into human habitats. Expansion of the elephant corridor would facilitate the free movement of elephants on their migratory path, said Mr. Balaji at the wild life week celebrations.

Solar fencing

He said solar fencing was being erected in the fringe areas of forests in Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Nilgiris districts to prevent crop damages and straying of wild animals. Solar fences were erected for 26 km in Pennagaram, Hogenakkal, Palacode and Krishnagiri forest ranges. Population of wild animals including tigers and elephants was on a healthy trend in the State.

Water sources including borewells had been sunk inside forests to prevent man-animal conflicts. The department was also creating awareness programmes among students to increase forest wealth and resources.

Tree park

Mr. Balaji said that a Tree Arboretum (park) had been created on three acres at Dharmapuri Collectorate.

More than 75 rare and endangered timber species including vellakadambai, red sandalwood, and rosewood were being grown in the park, which would serve as an awareness centre for environmentalists and students.

Chief Conservator of Forests (Bio-diversity) Ganesan, District Forest Officer Ravindran and Collector Pankaj Kumar Bansal were present.