Probe into poaching begins | Deccan Chronicle
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Probe into poaching begins

DC | C.S. Kotteswaran | 14th Mar 2013

Chennai: More skeletons are tumbling out after DC’s expose on unchecked poaching and tree felling in forest areas of southern districts particularly in Tirunelveli district. The forest department has started a probe into the serious charges that were brushed under the carpet by the local police. Most of the cases occurred outside the Kalakkad Mundant­hurai Tiger reserve and specific data related to the poaching cases are now being collected from the local police, sources said.

Similarly complaints of tree-felling in the Kodaik­anal reserve forests were ignored for over four years when the DMK was in pow­er. Local wildlife activists are now raking up the issue with the state government, sources added.
 
“The villagers of Kodai­ka­nal and neighbouring areas submitted a mass petition to the local forest officers and district collectorate in 2009 but till date only preliminary enquiries were conducted and there is no concrete action,” said Z. Joshua, wildlife enthusiast and a resident of Vada­kavinchi in Koda­ik­anal.
 
The permission to cut trees are often misused and violated, but in a few cases alone a petty fine is collected, he said.
 
Following the regime cha­nge, local activists have taken up the issue again and details related to tree felling cases with specific survey numbers will be forwarded to senior officials seeking action, he said.
 
Kodaikanal DFO Venka­te­sh admitted that several ca­s­es were rec­orded with the department in the past and maintained that the office­rs had then ca­rried out necessary pro­be. Even last we­ek, two cas­es of tree felling were boo­ked and action was being ta­ken. Vigilance and patr­olling had been stepped up to prevent violations, the DFO said.
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