Nilgiris Collector directs 27 resorts on elephant corridor to close down

By Balasubramani Muniyandi Published on Aug 10, 2018 02:58 PM IST

Chennai: Nilgiris Collector J Innocent Divya today issued notice to the 27 resorts asked to be removed by the Supreme Court for encroaching the elephant corridor in the district.

Pronouncing the verdict yesterday, the apex court said, "Elephants are our heritage and we are destroying it."

The three-judge bench, comprising judges Madan B Lokur, Deepak Gupta and S Abdul Nazeer, set a 48-hour deadline to seal or close the 27 commercial establishments built in the elephant corridor.

The judges said, "For the time being, we are concerning ourselves with the resort complexes with restaurant (commercial buildings). A list of 39 such resort complexes with restaurant (commercial buildings) has been given in the report of the collector."

The judges further said there was no one present on behalf of the remaining 27 resorts.

"It is deemed that they accept the report of the Collector. The report is to the effect that they are running commercial enterprises even though they do not have approval for the same. They are directed to be closed down or sealed by the Collector. We have requested learned counsel for the State to do the needful within 48 hours," they added.

A total of 39 commercial establishments were brought under the scanner. While 27 resorts have been asked to be sealed, the court has given 48 hours for the remaining 12 resorts to produce documents of their validation.

"If the documents produced are incomplete or unapproved, then the Collector can go ahead and close down the other resorts as well," the judges said.

BIG NUMBERS
Nilgiris Collector J Innocent Divya, in her comprehensive report submitted to the Supreme Court, said 309 buildings were constructed by the resorts running illegally in the area.

 

MONSOON MARCH
The counsel had told the court that around 18,000 elephants came to Tamilnadu during the monsoon season, and that the court should direct the power connection to these resorts and hotels be snapped.

Next hearing in the case will be done on 24 October 2018.