Committee Recommends Tighter Tourism Regulations in Idukki Forests

  • 13 May 2024

An expert panel appointed by the Kerala High Court(C) advocates strict regulations on tourism activities in Idukki's forest areas to prevent human-animal conflicts.

Key Points

  • Background: Following the controversy surrounding wild elephant 'Arikomban,' an expert committee was tasked to address man-animal conflicts in Idukki's forest areas.
  • Key Recommendations: The committee proposes stringent regulations on tourism activities, including night traffic restrictions, off-road jeep trips, and proper garbage disposal to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.
  • Concerns Raised: The recommendations have sparked opposition from high-range farmers and the tourism sector, fearing adverse impacts on livelihoods and operations.
  • Tribal Colonies and Resorts Affected: The suggestion to maintain an elephant pathway raises concerns about the relocation of tribal colonies and impacts on nearby resorts and plantations.
  • Need for Political Will: While acknowledging sectoral protests, the committee emphasizes the importance of government support to implement regulations effectively and prevent conflicts.
  • Panel Composition: The committee comprises forest conservation experts and an amicus curiae appointed by the court, underscoring the seriousness of the issue.
  • Legal Implications: The Kerala High Court is expected to issue directives to the government based on the committee's recommendations, signaling potential policy changes to safeguard wildlife and local communities.