Clamping down on resorts operating without approval in elephant corridor of Nilgiris area, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Tamil Nadu government to seal or close down within 48 hours 27 such commercial establishments.
The apex court perused the report placed before it by the district collector of Nilgiris which said that resorts with restaurant were operating in the area even though they do not have approval for the same.
“There is no one present on behalf of the remaining 27 resorts. It is deemed that they accept the report of the collector. The report is to the effect that they are running commercial enterprises even though they do not have approval for the same,” the bench, also comprising justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, said.
“They are directed to be closed down or sealed by the collector. We have requested counsel for the state to do the needful within 48 hours,” the bench said.
The apex court granted 48 hours time to the remaining 12 resorts to produce all documents showing approval and valid title and possession for running resorts before the collector. “In case, the collector finds that the documentation is incomplete or approval not granted, she should close down and seal the premises immediately thereafter,” it said. Regarding others, whose names were mentioned in the report, the bench said that necessary documents might be produced before the collector for verification within a period of two months from Thursday.
The court posted the matter for hearing on October 24.
During the hearing, the bench said that elephants were our “national heritage” and expressed displeasure as to how constructions had come up in elephant corridor of Nilgiris. During an earlier hearing, one of the applicants who had raised this issue before the court had alleged that several hotels and resorts had come up in the elephant corridor areas of Tamil Nadu.
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