Plans to modernise Theppakadu Elephant Camp, says Chief Minister

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin after unveiling the bust of John Sullivan in Udhagamandalam on Saturday.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin after unveiling the bust of John Sullivan in Udhagamandalam on Saturday. | Photo Credit: M. SATHYAMOORTHY

The Tamil Nadu government plans to modernise the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and conduct studies on captive elephants, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said on Saturday.

Speaking at an event here, he said Theppakadu is the oldest elephant camp in Asia, and there was scope to study captive elephants kept in the camp. The Chief Minister recalled that his father and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was instrumental in getting Mudumalai notified as a tiger reserve. “The government is taking steps to increase forest cover across the State from 20.21% to 33%,” he said.

He said ₹5 crore was earmarked for removal of invasive species in the Nilgiris and the government was formulating plans to protect the Nilgiris’ environment.

Mr. Stalin said he would look into the problems faced by people settled in land under Section 17 of the Gudalur Janmam Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1969. The residents here are unable to get basic amenities because the leases are not being renewed.

The Chief Minister took part at an event to commemorate the bicentenary of the colonial exploration of the Nilgiris and released a special book Ooty 200-200 years of Ooty. He distributed welfare assistance, which district administration officials said amounted to ₹28.13 crore and benefited 9,500 people.

Mr. Stalin recalled the efforts made by the DMK government during the 2009 floods that killed around 50 people, as well as the assistance offered to the people of the Nilgiris in 2019, when major landslips occurred in different parts of the district because of heavy rain. “In 2019, it was the AIADMK which was in power, but we visited relief shelters and mobilised ₹7.5 crore to help the people of the Nilgiris,” he said.

Also present were Minister for Information and Publicity M.P. Saminathan, Minister for Forests K. Ramachandran, Nilgiris Lok Sabha member A. Raja, Collector S.P. Amrith, Udhagamandalam MLA R. Ganesh, District Revenue Officer Keerthi Priyadarshini and honorary director of the Nilgiris Documentation Center Venugopal Dharmalingam.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister garlanded the Rajiv Gandhi statue near the Udhagamandalam bus stand and unveiled a bust of John Sullivan, the first colonial administrator to reach the Nilgiris, along the Garden Road.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 11:53:07 pm |