Centre proposes extension of Periyar Tiger Reserve
Periyar Tiger R
VANDIPERIYAR, Feb. 15: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests have suggested addition of 148 square kilometres of Goodrickal range in Ranni Forest Division, Kerala, to the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Forests from the boundary of Anathode Dam near Gavi to Pachakkanam in the Vallakkadavu range will be declared as part of the Reserve as per proposal submitted by the Director of Tiger Conservation Authority Rajesh Gopal. These will include shola grass lands at Ponnambalamedu (Sabarimala) and neighbouring areas. The Reserve and the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary now cover 777 sq. km.

Mr. Gopal proposed the expansion of the Tiger Reserve after his visit to the Reserve following the stampede at Pullumedu near Sabarimala which claimed the lives more than 100 of pilgrims to Sabarimala.

Meanwhile,  Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has written to Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan seeking immediate steps to carry out the Sabarimala Master Plan on a time-bound manner in a project mode with an independent monitoring mechanism.

To avoid stamped at Uppupara in future, the vehicular route from the fourth mile to Uppupara should be closed, while facilitating visitation from Sattram entry point as suggested in the Master Plan. Non-compliance of Master Plan would lead to cancellation of the diversion of forest land accorded by the Ministry, he warned.

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