An illegal resort in the forest; Controversy as Minister Mathivendan stays with his family

Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Mathiventhan’s stay with his family in a resort that is said to have been built in violation of the rules on the declared elephant route in the Muthumalai Tiger Reserve has caused controversy.

Sigur area under Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Nilgiri district has been declared a protected area due to high elephant movement. Also, construction in the area has been banned by the forest department and the district administration.

In this situation, it has been revealed that some constructions have been built in violation of the rules in the elephant corridor areas. Following this, the Sigur Valley Elephant Route Study Committee, set up to study these constructions, submitted its report last year. The investigation team found that the resorts – Jungle Hut, T Rock, Rolling Stones, Forest Hills Farm and Guest House, Jungle Retreat and Gordon Jungle Properties –

have a total of 74 buildings in their premises. Based on that, the Supreme Court heard a case filed seeking the demolition of buildings built in violation of the rules and last year ordered the demolition of 12 buildings along the Elephant Route. However, no building has been demolished yet. This is causing concern among forest conservationists.

In this situation, a controversy has arisen that Forest Minister Mathiventhan, who has come to Utagamandal with his family for summer vacation, is staying at the Sokhuti Inn in the protected area of ​​Sigur.

According to official reports, Minister Mathiventhan was staying at a resort called ‘Jungle Hut’ with friends and family for the past few days. The Jungle Hut is one of the 12 other resorts ordered to be demolished by the Supreme Court by 2023.

According to Nilgiri district administration officials, a part of the resort where Minister Madivendan is staying has been allowed to function by the district administration.

At the same time, the Forest Minister’s stay at a resort built on an elephant route raises several questions. There are guesthouses run by the forest department in Mudumalai. There is no need for the forest minister to stay at a resort, part of which is considered to be operating illegally, say forest activists. They also questioned whether the government is serious about protecting the declared elephant corridor.

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