Palakkad tops in forest encroachment
Palakkad district lost a total of 3,819.75 hectares forest land with Manarkkad forest division alone losing 2,700 hectares of forest land.
Idukki in comparison lost 1,727.20 hectares of forest land with Munnar losing 1,099.65 hectares and Mankulam losing 358.43 hectares.
“Many resorts have come up in this area in the last decade. The encroachments are happening very silently and there is not much protest. Being close to Silent Valley the climate here is very good and this region has caught the fancy of the resort mafia,” said Rajendra Prasad, a tribal rights activist.
The eco-sensitive Wayanad district lost 1,739.03 hectares of forest land, second in terms of losing virgin forest areas in the state.
“There has been massive encroachment of forest land in this district in recent years and real estate properties and private resorts have come up in forest areas. When there was a move to declare Wayanad sanctuary as a tiger reserve looking at the healthy tiger population here, the real estate mafia instigated ordinary people to turn violent by instilling fear in them,” a senior forest official said.