Elephants cannot be deprived of natural habitat,


By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Elephants cannot be deprived of their natural food and habitat in the jungles, said the Madras High Court while dismissing a petition seeking permission to cut trees on private land which was declared a private forest forming part of an elephant corridor in the Nilgiris district.

“Pachyderm such as elephants and other animals cannot be deprived of their natural food and shelter in the natural habitat whether grown spontaneously or silviculturally as has been claimed by the petitioner,” Justice C Saravanan said in a recent order.

Citing an order of the Supreme Court, he said the apex court has held that the state government is empowered to protect the habitats situated on the petitioner’s land by notifying it as an elephant corridor.
The petitioner, M Guruchand Vaid, sought the court to permit him to cut silviculturally grown but dead bamboo trees from his land in Masinagudi village in the Nilgiris.

Though he filed a petition with the district collector, who is also the chairman of an inter-departmental committee on forest issues, for cutting bamboo trees in 2007, permission was not granted. When his repeated petitions went in vain, he approached the court.

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