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Tuesday, 09 October, 2012, 14 : 00 PM [IST]

KFRI opposes plan for motorable road from Nelliyampathy to Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

A proposal to have a motorable road to the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve in Kerala from Nelliyampathy has not found favour with authorities. An environmental impact assessment done by Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) has opposed the plan to convert the footpath into a motorable one, according to a report by Abhish K Bose and Ajayan in the Deccan Chronicle. The converison would involve diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes, which was not favoured. Converting the footpath into a motorable track and permitting tourist inflow to Parambikulam via Nelliyampathy would have very high adverse impacts on the ecological attributes and would accord very low positive social impacts, the report said. Maintaining the existing footpath would have minimum negative impacts on the environment and social functions.

Declared the 38th reserve in India in 2009, the reserve can be accessed via road only through Tamil Nadu. According to S Sankar, the scientist who headed the KFRI team, the conversion of the nearly 20-km-long footpath from Parambikulam to Nelliyampathy would require extensive ground work. “Any sort of human intervention/presence will negatively affect inviolateness. Heavy and continuous vehicular traffic will impair wildlife migration, breeding and can result in road kills," the assessment report said.
 
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