A day after the Supreme Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to seal or close down within 48 hours, 27 resorts reportedly constructed in the elephant corridor, the Nilgiris district administration today issued notices to these commercial establishments
District Collector Innocent Divya issued the notice to the resorts, coming under Sigur Corridor,official sources said.
Notices were pasted on the main doors of the resorts, seeking an explanation, including sealing the premises, they said.
Notices would soon be issued to another 12 resorts, which also reportedly encroached upon the corridor and erected electric fences to prevent entry of wildlife,the sources said.
Yesterday, an apex court bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur had directed the owners of the resorts and hotels in the area to place their documents of approval before the Collector within 24 hours.
It said the Collector would verify the documents and if she concludes that a resort or a hotel has been built without prior approval, it should also be closed down in 48 hours.
The bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, said elephants are a 'national heritage' and expressed displeasure as to how constructions had come up on the elephant corridor of Nilgiris.
During an earlier hearing, one of the counsels for the petitioners had alleged that several hotels and resorts had come up in the elephant corridor areas of Tamil Nadu.
The bench had made it clear no construction should be carried out in those areas and asked the Collector of Nilgiris, where the hotels and resorts have come up, to file a report.
It had also asked the Collector to inform the court how these establishments could be identified, when were they built and how.
The court was also informed that around 18,000 elephants come to Tamil Nadu in the monsoon season and it should direct that power connection to these resorts and hotels be snapped.
Owners of some of these hotels and resorts have also filed appeals in the apex court against a Madras High Court order against them on the matter.
The court had earlier said it was 'extremely unfortunate' that many states had not responded to two communications sent by the Centre on the issue of elephant corridors to curb incidents of human-animal conflict and reduce animal fatalities.
The Centre had told the court that a committee was formed to consider the suggestions, including making corridors across the country for the safe passage of elephants and other endangered animals.
The apex court had stressed the need to have elephant corridors across the country to reduce animal fatalities owing to accidents and other reasons and asked the Centre to come up with some 'workable solution' in this regard.
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