186 illegal brick kilns near elephant corridors shut, HC told

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Chennai, Mar 31 (PTI): As many as 186 illegal brick kilns located close to elephant corridors in the Western Ghats have been shut down, the Madras High Court was told on Wednesday.

The government counsel informed this when a PIL petition from animal activist Muralidharan came up before the First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy today.

According to the petitioner, the illegal mining operation in the Thadagam region in Coimbatore was the sole reason behind the rising number of man-animal conflicts.

'The brick kilns and the mining of the red sand for bricks have destroyed important corridors used by the elephants to migrate to contiguous forest areas. This is resulting in elephants moving into human settlements and damaging crops and lives,' he said.

Earlier, the Bench had directed the State to take immediate measures to ensure that the brick kilns functioned within the prescribed parameters after obtaining licence from the appropriate authority.

When the matter came up again today, the counsel representing the Chief Secretary, submitted that a detailed audit was conducted across Somayampalayam, Nanjundapuram and Pannimadai villages in Coimbatore north taluk where it was found that several erring units were in operation.

Recording the submission, the Bench directed the State to file a detailed report and adjourned the matter till April 6. PTI COR SA NVG NVG