The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has directed the State Forest Department and Tirunelveli district administration to consider a representation seeking implementation of various measures including regulating vehicular movement inside Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed in 2015 by advocate B. Danasekaran of Tirunelveli. He had sought a direction to the authorities to take action to prevent vehicular movement inside Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, particularly, through Papanasam check-post from 6 p.m. to 6.a.m.
He said the authorities should prevent the parking of vehicles in the forest area and make arrangements for vehicles to drop tourists and leave the reserve. Speed breakers should be installed at regular intervals from Papanasam to Karaiyar to slow the vehicle speed. Vehicles convoy should be introduced to minimise roadkills.
Further, he said the authorities should prevent sounding horns inside the forest area. Steps should be taken to prevent any form of camping inside the tiger reserve area. There should be thorough monitoring and shopkeepers and public should be directed to deposit the litter in proper collection points before vacating the place. The authorities should continue the check and fine system against carrying plastic and liquor, he said.
A research in this regard was conducted by the environmental organisation, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). The petitioner, after making a study of the research carried out by ATREE, made a representation to the authorities for protecting the tiger reserve.
A Division Bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and J. Sathya Narayana Prasad directed the State Forest Department and Tirunelveli district administration to consider the representation made by the petitioner and the research conducted by ATREE and pass orders on merits and in accordance with law. The petition was disposed of.