27 illegal resorts sealed in Nilgiris elephant corridor

Coimbatore: Twenty seven resorts constructed on the elephant corridor in Nilgiris district were sealed by the authorities in compliance with a Supreme Court order directing a crackdown on illegal structures in the area.

The process of sealing 27 resorts began at 10 am amid a tight police security, while action against the remaining 12 would be taken after getting an explanation from the owners and verifying the documents, official sources said.

A committee formed to review the functioning of these resorts was expected to submit its report before the apex court in October, they added.

The process of sealing the resorts was completed by 8 pm, the sources said. The top court had, on 9 August, directed the Tamilnadu government to seal or close down the 27 resorts constructed on the elephant corridor within 48 hours.

The court gave the direction after perusing the report placed before it by the Nilgiris district collector, which said resorts with restaurants were operating in the area without approval.

The Supreme Court had observed that elephants were a “national heritage” and expressed displeasure as to how constructions had come up on the elephant corridor of Nilgiris.

Meanwhile, traders in and around Masinagudi area decided to down their shutters for three days in protest against the closure of the resorts.

They claimed that the move to seal the resorts would adversely affect their livelihood.