Peerumade MLA suspects plan to release Arikompan in Periyar Tiger Reserve

Published - April 24, 2023 11:54 pm IST - IDUKKI

Even though the State government is yet to approve a location to translocate wild tusker Arikompan, Peerumade MLA Vazhoor Soman on Monday said the government was planning to translocate the pachyderm to Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Thekkady.

Mr. Soman told The Hindu that he got information that the Forest department was constructing a 15-km-long road to Thannikkudy in Thekkady, which falls inside the PTR, to release the tusker.

“I suspect the expert committee has decided to release the tusker in PTR. The Forest Minister had earlier agreed that they would not release Arikompan inside the PTR,” Mr. Soman said.

‘Tourism to take a hit’

“Thekkady hosts scores of eco-tourism programmes and draws thousands of tourists. The presence of Arikompan will hit the tourism sector. If Arikompan causes any issues in Thekkady, the Forest department will be solely responsible,” Mr. Soman said.

Meanwhile, PTR East deputy director Patil Suyog Subhash Rao said the department was not constructing any new road inside the PTR.

“The road repair works were progressing inside the PTR ahead of the Mangaladevi temple festival,” he said. “The government or Forest department has not yet informed us of the release of tusker Arikompan to PTR. However, if the government decides to release the tusker in Thekkady, we cannot oppose the decision,” Mr. Rao said.

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