National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has reportedly intervened on the shifting of the office of the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (APCCF) - Project Tiger from Coimbatore to Chennai.
According to highly placed sources in the Forest Department, the NTCA has sought an explanation from the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu on the move.
The office, set up in Coimbatore four years ago, was officially shifted to Chennai on November 20 amidst a huge outcry from environmentalists, activists and even farmers. Many in the Forest Department were also of the opinion that the office could be retained in Coimbatore due to proximity to three tiger reserves. With the shifting, the proximity to the field would suffer in the long run as it could lead to slackness among the field level staff, environmentalists said.
NGOs in Coimbatore had taken up the issue and represented their concerns before senior officials of the Forest Department when shifting of the office was under consideration.
“The environmental NGOs here strongly believe that the shifting of the office from Coimbatore was not an ideal move. We have decided to call on Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests, and Chief Wildlife Warden in this regard,” said N. I. Jalaludeen of Nature Conservation Society.
Apart from the activists, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam also wanted the office to be retained in Coimbatore as it would be helpful to reduce human-animal conflict and crop loss.