UDHAGAMANDALAM: Acting on the High Court order on the removal of solar fences in the elephant corridor, the district administration started issuing notices to owners of property in the area, to remove solar fences within a week.
Forest, revenue and private land falling under the Nilgiris North Forest Division near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, were notified as the elephant corridor.
Masinagudi, Bokkapuram, Mavanallah and Vazhaithottam were the main areas that were thus demarcated.
However, owners of agricultural fields, resorts and houses in this area erected solar fences to prevent wild elephants from entering and damaging the crops and buildings on their land.
These fences often act as barriers for the jumbos, forcing the animals to move along new paths. Often, the animals end up straying into fields and residential areas.
A PIL highlighting this problem was filed in the High Court, which subsequently passed directions for the immediate removal of such solar fences.
Acting on the HC order, revenue and forest officials, acting on instruction of Collector Archana Patnaik, have started issuing notices to owners to remove the fences within a week. The officials warned that if the owners fail to comply, the electricity department’s help would be sought for the removal of the fences and the cost would be recovered from the property owners themselves.
District forest officer Ramasubramaniam also confirmed that the order would be implemented through the district administration.
Welcoming the HC order, environmentalists and animal rights activists have urged the administration not to delay its implementation.Sources in the revenue department said that solar fencing has been put up at nearly 80 resorts and agricultural land in Masinagudi, Bokkapuram, Mavanallah and Vazhaithottam areas.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Nilgiris District Farmers Association are camping in Chennai to hold discussions with their lawyer and will to approach HC against the order. They have also decided to meet Collector Archana on Thursday.