Elephant lives matter: SC upholds decision to demolish resorts, constructions in Mudumalai forest
New Delhi, Oct 14: The Supreme Court has upheld the order of the Madras High Court which directed the demolition of all resorts and constriction in the Mudumalai reserve forest area.
The order was passed for the safe passage of migrating elephants. The SC also appointed a sitting High Court judge to head a three-member committee to inquire in the issues involving illegal constructions.
It may be recalled that the Madras High Court had banned all construction activities in the proposed elephant corridors. The elephant corridor in the Niligiris is 22.64 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide and is a vital link for 900 elephants to traverse between the Eastern and Western Ghats.
The Supreme Court had appointed an amicus curiae, who had submitted a report. In the report, it was recommended to uphold the validity of the Tamil Nadu government order dated August 21 2010 that notified the Nilgiris elephant corridor. Further a directive to dismiss the special leave petitions filed against the Madras HC order was also sought.
On July 12 2011, the Madras High Court had ordered the razing of resorts constructed along the Nilgiris Elephant Corridor situated in the Mudumalai Forest Range. Several prominent personalities have built resorts there.
There are around 821 illegal constructions in the forest that have been built within the notified Nilgiris elephant corridor. 390 structures were illegal of which 71 belonged to affluent people. The High Court order was passed on a petition filed by elephant rights activist Elephant Rajendran.