Tourism resort constructed in Nelliyampathy violating laws
Posted on: 30 Jan 2013
Palakkad: The Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) has built a `tourism resort' violating rules in the ecologically fragile land at the tiger reserve in Parambikkulam. The inauguration was held on the Republic day without any celebrations at Pakuthipalam inside Nelliyampathy reserve forest. There are allegations that opening up the forest area, which is one of the breeding centers of lion-tailed macaque, an endangered species, is plain violation of forest and wild animal rules. This land was handed over to KFDC in 1972 for rehabilitating the refugees from Sri Lanka, as per lease rules.
There is a total of 563 acres,105 in Pakuthipalam and 124 in Pothumalayil. The lease deed was for rehabilitating Sri Lanka refugees with farming in coffee and cardamom. But violating the rules, the corporation gave a green signal for tourism. The experts in the field stated that with this move from KFDC, which itself is a government organization, would affect as many as 26 cases of the same nature between forest department and private estate owners. The forest department is moving with cases against Cherunelli, Karappara and Meera Floor estate in Nelliyampathy.
When forest department took over Meera Floors estate to undertake tourism violating rules, the state approached the Kerala HC in 2002. In 2009, the HC issued an order favouring the forest department and justice S Sirigajan said it's a crime to undertake tourism in forest areas and there should not be any such projects without the consent of central government or SC. In 2008 the corporation forwarded an application to extend the lease period of estates in Pakuthipalam-Pothumalala to forest department. But forest department denied it as there are more wild animals. Now the corporation has constructed resort without seeking permission even from the forest department.