HC directs development of Elephant Corridor

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Chennai, Sep 30 (UNI) The Madras High Court today directed the Nilgris district collector to remove all encroachments from the revenue lands which had been identified for the development of Elephant Corridor.

In its order on a writ petition by In Defence of Environment and Animals, by its managing trustee, G Rajendran,the First Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla directed the state government to send a proposal to the central government with regard to the funds required for the acquisition of land for the development of the corridor.

The government pleader submitted that the state would forward such a proposal to the Centre with in two weeks. On the basis of the proposal, the central government would communicate its response to the state government and an affidavit to that effect should be filed by the central government before the Bench within four weeks.

The district collector filed an affidavit highlighting the importance of developing the corridor.

In his petition, among other things, Mr Rajendran sought a direction to the district Collector to take immediate steps to transfer the revenue lands, which were the traditional pathway of elephants, to the forest department. This was necessary to avoid further conflicts between man and animals. If the lands are handed over, there could not be any encroachment on them in future.

By another order on a separate petition by Mr Rajendran with regard to illegal quarrying in the district, the Fist Bench said all the criminal cases so far registered should be transferred to the CBCID.

The unit will investigate the case under guidance of the Additional Director-General of Police. The official should file a report by October 29, on the progress of investigation and the action taken thereafter.

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