“The district, which has a total forest area of 1,22,215.13 ha has now risen significantly to 1,23,264.87 ha. They were declared as reserve under 26 of the Tamil Nadu Forest Act, 1882,” said D Venkatesh District For-est Officer of Coimbatore Forest Division.
This reserve land, which was earlier under the control of the revenue and forest departments, has been spread over across the district in areas such as Kem-maramplayam, Karamadai, Tholampalayam and Marathur in Mettupalayam taluk, Odayakulam in Anaimalai taluk, Zamin Uthukuli and Pollachi town in Pollachi taluk.
Of them, Kattanjimalai (hillock) at Marathur in Mettupalayam is the largest and is spread over an area of 817 ha. It was so far earmarked as ‘poramboke’ land.Forest Minister K Ramachandran, who was appreciative of the combined efforts of the Forest Department and the Collector, said that the district has proved to be a frontrunner for other districts to follow suit in increasing the forest cover.
Following an increase in forest area, the Forest Department is all set to carry out regular patrolling in the added areas to prevent wildlife offences.“This land will be utilised to increase the green cover and protect wildlife. At Kattanji hillock, there were even instances of poaching of wild boars and some arrests. Henceforth, vigil will be stepped up in these areas,” the DFO said.