HC directs Nilgiris Collector to remove encroachments

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Chennai, Oct 1 (UNI) Madras High Court has directed the Nilgiris District Collector to remove all encroachments from revenue lands, which had been identified for the development of an Elephant corridor.

Passing an order on a writ petition filed 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, yesterday, directed the Tamil Nadu Government to send a proposal to the Union Government with regard to funds required for acquisition of land for development of the corridor.

The Government Pleader submitted that the State would forward such a proposal to the Centre within 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 criminal cases so far registered should be transferred to the CB-CID.

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

UNI XR ROY RL BD1020

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