Kozhikode: Forest Minister Benoy Viswom said here on Sunday that timely intervention by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government during its last four years in office had brought down instances of plunder of forest resources.
Inaugurating the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary at a function at Chakkittappara in Kozhikode district, the Minister said this achievement was made with people’s participation. The Minister pointed out that the revenue of the government from forest resources had increased during the reign of the LDF government. “Within the last five-year term, the total revenue contributed to the government exchequer by the Forest Department was Rs.420 crore,” he added.
The Minister declared a compensation of Rs.10 lakh each to three families being shifted out from the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary. The function also marked the launch of a special portal, www.malabarsanctuary.org, and a documentary highlighting the biodiversity and natural treasures of the sanctuary. A.K. Saseendran, MLA, released a book titled ‘Richness and Reality,’ prepared by forest officials. As part of promoting learning and research in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary among the student community, the Forest Department will set up a Nature Interpretation Centre at Peruvannamuzhi this year.
According to official records, the sanctuary, spread across 74 sq km in three villages under the Koyilandy taluk, protects around 680 types of plants and 39 grass varieties. The region is also a favourite hamlet for 148 species of butterflies, 52 varieties of fishes, 38 types of amphibians and 32 types of reptiles. The presence of 180 species of birds adds charm.