The Principle Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) has shown with graphic description to the Madras High Court as to how the naturally endowed and ecologically rich Palani Hills, which houses the beautiful hill station of Kodaikanal covered with the dominant Shola grasslands, are being ruined by the migrant encroachers who have caused great damage to the flora and fauna. With the increase in a population of Kodaikanal, the landscape underwent a huge transformation with extensive commercialization and plantations of banana, pear, plum, and various spices. Previously, the inhabitants co-existed with the animals but with the migrants encroaching into the territory, profit-oriented activities became the main focus. As a result, we can see a dwindling population of honeybees and the tribal people are forced to flee to the lower plains in search of alternative occupation. The encroachers have the active support of the local political leaders and they don’t allow the erection of solar-powered fences, thereby causing man-animal conflict. As a result, animals like elephants can be seen raiding the fields and farms. All tactics like elephant proof trenches, raising fodder species and eradicating invasive trees have seemingly failed to have contained animal activity. The division bench consisting of Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad have disposed of the case after directing the forest department to continue its endeavors without affecting the biodiversity of the region.
Tags : #India#Environment#Palani Hills#ruined