HC calls for report from IIT-M on maintaining its campus free of plastics


HC calls for report from IIT-M on maintaining its campus free of plastics
Legal CorrespondentCHENNAI, JANUARY 22, 2020 00:35 ISTUPDATED: JANUARY 22, 2020 00:35 IST

Court directs counsel for institute to file status report within a month
The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) to explain by February 21 the steps taken by it to keep its campus plastic free so that the deer roaming around the sprawling institution do not end up consuming plastic waste.

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha passed the order after Special Government Pleader (Forests) S.V. Vijay Prashanth told the court that consumption of plastic waste by deer in the IIT campus was a cause of concern for forest department officials.
Wondering why the forest department had not acted against the institution if it had not been keeping the campus plastic-free especially when there was large presence of deer population, the judges directed the counsel for IIT-M to file a status report within a month.
The interim order was passed on a public interest litigation petition filed by animal lover S. Muralidharan of Chennai, through his counsel S.P. Chockalingam, to restrain the forest officials from translocating the deer from Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) campus in the city.

The court had last year disposed of the PIL last year with a direction to the forest department to come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) for capturing the animals. Accordingly, the department on Tuesday apprised the court of the SOP in place.
After taking note of it, the judges permitted the department to go ahead with translocating the deer from CLRI campus to nearby zoos and forest areas. The SGP informed the court that more than 260 deer had been translocated from Chennai city since August 2018.
He said, the entire process was a huge success with some deer lodged in Guindy National Park and others in Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur. A few deer were also translocated to Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve on pilot basis and that too turned out to be successful.

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Out of the 10 female spotted deer shifted to the tiger reserve for increasing the prey population, nine had got accustomed to the forest area whereas just one deer was hunted down by a leopard, he added.
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