The Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta on Thursday ordered the closure of 27 resorts, which have allegedly encroached upon elephant corridors in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris Biosphere, Indian Express has reported.
The court during the hearing expressed concern about the encroachment and called the elephants a national heritage.
According to the report, the Supreme Court also ordered 12 other resorts to furnish all approvals documents within 48 hours failing which, they too would be sealed.
The District Collector of Nilgiris had filed a report titled, “Plan of Action Report” which listed a total of 39 resorts cum restaurants. The report alleges that these commercial establishments were being run despite not having an approval.
During the hearing, lawyers representing 12 such resorts appeared before the court while, the 27 others went unrepresented. The court thus remarked that these 27 resorts accept this report.
With regards to the 12 resorts, the court stated that if the Collector finds that the furnished documents are incomplete or that no approval is granted, the premises should be closed down and sealed immediately.
The report also claimed that there are other resorts which are suspected of violations but the court gave them a time of two months to submit the required documents before the District Collector.