‘Forests play a vital role in protecting the Vaigai’

By TheHindu on 16 Oct 2017 | read
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If right government policies and community participation were in place, Vaigai river could become perennial again, said K. Kalaivanan, a veterinarian, here on Saturday.

At a function organised as part of Wildlife Week celebration at Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College, the speakers spoke about the seminal role played by the Megamalai forest range in preservation of the Vaigairiver.

Dr. Kalaivanan correlated on tiger population and the sustenance of a river. He said mere cleaning of the Vaigai river bed would not have much of an impact in protection of the river.

C. P. Rajkumar, founder of Vanam, a non-governmental organisation, said: “A forest with a significant tiger population will have a river. Saving the animal will ensure the ecological balance of the forest. If there is a tiger reserve, the area will be protected by National Tiger Conservation Authority which will ensure funding for relocation of tribal people by providing them alternative means of livelihood such as farming, petty shops and forest guards,” he said.

M. Manivannan, another speaker, traced the journey of Vaigai river- both historically and geographically. He said construction of dams, large-scale mining and loss of forest cover posed problems for all south Indian rivers.

District Forest Officer J.R. Samartha was present.

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