Forest Minister Dindigul C. Srinivasan on Monday told the Assembly on Monday that people in forest areas would not be affected by the government’s decision to declare a few areas in Kanniyakumari district as the buffer zone of the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
“The creation of a buffer zone will not affect people. It would ensure that they benefit from development projects. Moreover, employment opportunities will be created through eco-tourism projects to be implemented with the help of the Centre,” he said.
Responding to a calling attention motion moved by DMK MLAs S. Austin, N. Suresh Rajan and Mano Thangaraj, and Congress members S. Rajeshkumar, H. Vasantha Kumar and others, the Minister said a total of 20,136 hectares had been declared as buffer zone.
“The buffer zone covers 12,524 hectares in Veerapuli and 2,577 hectares in Kilamalai reserve forests,” he said.
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