‘Buffer zone will not affect people’

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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