Idukki: District Collector Sheeba George has ordered an inspection of all the alleged illegal tent camps in Idukki district after concerns were raised on such set ups raised without adequate permission from the forest department and Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society.
Pro-animal rights groups have been vocal against such camps which they claimed would add to animal-man conflict in the region. Besides that, they had alleged that such tents have been set up on elephant paths and were prone to attack by wild elephants and gaur. They had also raised caution about the presence of venomous snakes in these camps.
Santhanpara Police had earlier found that as many as 26 illegal tent camps were functioning in Chinnakanal and had expressed concern over the activities in such facilities, especially at night. Though cops had inspected some of the camps, police officers revealed that there weren’t fully aware of what is happening in these camps.
Collector said that if the camps were found out to be illegal during the inspection by officials they would be evicted and dismantled. “On private lands, inspection will be conducted by officials of civic bodies. In revenue land, village officials have been assigned the duty, and in forest land, it will be the prerogative of the forest officials to conduct checks,” Collector said.
Pro-animal rights activist M N Jayachandran said that after the capture and translocation of rogue jumbo ‘Arikomban,’ more such illegal camps have been set up in the Chinnakanal area and they were causing hindrance to the free movement of wild jumbos through elephant pathways and they would cause more man-animal conflict.
“Forest officials must take more proactive action in this matter as such camps that hosts DJ parties with bright lights could disturb the wildlife in the area. All departments should take necessary action against the camps without passing the buck” he added.