The Tamil Nadu government has constituted two expert committees to provide a consolidated list of elephant corridors, including those that have been identified and the potential ones. The government informed the Madras High Court on Tuesday, January 10, that the two expert committees would provide a list of existing elephant corridors as well as the potential ones by the end of March 2023.
The two committees are constituted to identify the elephant corridors in two landscapes, one to the north of Palakkad and the second to the south of Palakkad. The one in the north comprises Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Erode, Sathyamangalam, Hassanur, Hosur, and Dharmapuri forest divisions while that to the south comprises Pollachi, Tiruppur, Dindigul, Kodaikanal, Theni, Srivilliputtur, Megamalai, Tirunelveli, Kalakkad, Ambasamudram, and Kanyakumari divisions.
The Madras High Court had earlier directed the forest department to also consider taking over the land of people who have settled for long in the elephant corridors as these corridors could be used for the free movement of elephants.
The elephant corridors are spread into forest divisions of Kerala and Karnataka, and the Tamil Nadu forest department has already communicated to the forest departments of these two states on the elephant corridors. Wild elephants reaching human habitats is a major problem being faced by the Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka forest departments.
In 2020, reports said that 130 elephants had crossed into Tamil Nadu from Karnataka along the inter-state border in Krishnagiri. Forest officials had warned residents of the villages near the border to take necessary precautionary measures. Villagers were also warned not to go into the forests, especially by themselves at night. They were further asked not to graze their cattle in and around the forests. A Times of India report said that this was the migratory pattern of elephants and that they migrate from the Bannerghatta forest region in Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.