Tamil Nadu state Forest officials are shocked by the efforts of the State Tourism Department to create basic amenities at Varattuppallam reservoir in Erode district, which is located inside Reserved Forest (RF) area where non-forestry activities are prohibited.
A senior official pointed out that the area is an ecologically sensitive one and it was the only reservoir in the State where water was available aplenty even during dry summer months. Animals such as elephants, Indian Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambhar, Leopard, Sloth Bear, and Freshwater Otter are seen in the area. Besides, there were occasional tiger sightings too. Allowing tourism in such a place would only lead to problems for both humans and the animals.
Already, the Public Works Department even without obtaining permission from the Forest and despite opposition from the naturalists and environmentalists, performed a ‘Bhoomi Pooja’ at the place on June 17 to take up the works for constructing a over head tank, toilets, dressing room, rest shed and parking area for vehicles. The Government had allocated Rs 30 lakh for the works.
Full report here Hindu