Chennai: The Madras High Court has directed
the Tamil Nadu Government to immediately remove all illegally
erected, solar energized electrical fencing which restricts
free movement of animals and virtually cuts across the
`Elephant Corridor` in Nilgiris district.
Passing the order on a petition filed by one Vishnu Ram
Saravanavel, a Division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma
Rao and N Kirubakaran ordered notice to the Secretary, State
Environment and Forest Department, returnable in two weeks.
In the order,the Judges pointed out that the High Court in
an interim order on earlier petitions on Dec 3, 2009 had said
unregulated solar power fencing could not be allowed and that
removal of such fencing would equally be applicable to tribals
and other traditional forest dwellers.
The order was challenged in the Supreme Court.
The Apex Court, while granting some relief, had, however,
not interfered with the High Court order, while disposing of
the matter in April 2010.
The Court`s final order in April 2011 had observed `it is
also on record that each private holding had solar electric fencing boundaries, which virtually cut across the elephant
corridor and thus the people were developing this area for
pleasure of individuals at the cost of elephant and wildlife
thus recognizing the threat posed by greedy people who put up
such illegal fencing, to wildlife.
When the final order was challenged, the Apex Court
granted an interim stay order of dispossession and demolition
of the buildings of the petitioners for two months.
The Supreme Court had not intervened in the other
portions of the High Court towards creating the corridor.
But so far nothing fruitful seemed to have been done by
authorities towards removing this fencing, which restricts free
movement of animals and virtually cuts across the corridor,
the Judges observed.
Therefore, they were issuing the direction to the
authorities, the court said.