Reply by the Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Kerala regarding elephant rides in Idukki district of Kerala, 17/04/2023
Reply by the Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Kerala in Original Application 184/22 filed by M N Jayachandran before the National Green Tribunal.
M N Jayachandran in his petition before the NGT had alleged that Biji P Mathew was running tourism activities in the encroached area of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and elephant rides in Idukki District using more than l0 elephants, which is banned by District Collector.
The report acknowledged that Biji P Mathew was running an elephant ride named 'Elephant Camp' in Kumili, Idukki District. A case of Peermade forest range has been registered against him for violating Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules 2012 in 'Elephant Camp'. Another case of Peermade Forest Range was registered against him for violation of Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules 2012 for conducting elephant rides in Tusker Train Elephant Camp Kumily, Ist Mile.
The report said that "there are three more elephant camps functioning around the Periyar Tiger Reserve and about 20 elephants are there in these camps". However, no elephant rides were being conducted inside the sanctuary.
The court was also informed that in 2022 two captive female elephants (Rambha and Dulari) lost their lives in Idukki district.