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Construction site not falling under Mathikettan-Periyar Tiger corridor, physics observatory clarifies

Thursday, 1 July 2021 (17:27 IST)
Chennai: A top official of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, today clarified that the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)–Pottipuram Research Centre (PtRC) in the southern Theni district ofTamil Nadu will not obstruct the Mathikettan-Periyar Tiger

The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is a particle physics observatory planned to study cosmic rays emitted by neutrinos from constructed caves in mountains of Theni

In an official release, Prof Gobinda Majumder, who is also the Project Director of PtRC, said some media channels have reported that a scrutiny of the proposal by the Environment
and Forest Department of Tamil Nadu revealed that the construction site spread over 31.45 hectares was falling inside the Mathikettan-Periyar tiger corridor.

"We wish to correct this statement. The extent of land for the project comprises 26.825 Ha of revenue land above ground and 4.62 Hacters of land underground comprising the tunnels and
lab caverns", he said.

It is to be noted that the surface facilities were purely restricted to the 26.825 Ha of revenue land and lie completely outside the adjoining Reserve Forest (RF). Hence there will be no disturbance to the reserve forest or tiger corridor from surface facilities, he said.

Of the 4.62 Ha of underground construction, it was clarified that the tunnel entrance (portal) begins in revenue land and the Horizontal tunnel (just like a railway tunnel) is several 10s of m deep before it enters the forest land.

The tiger corridor lies completely within the forest land.Hence there will be no obstruction to tiger (or any large animal) movement on the forest surface since there will be no activity on forest land.

The only activity will be deep under the forest (from 10s of m to 1000 m underground) and the diversion of forest land was notional and there will never be any construction or activity in forest land.

"We reiterate that PtRC is committed to building a model project with no damage to the environment, no displacement or obstruction to local people and their daily activities, no radioactivity or toxic emissions", Mr Majumder said. "We believe that such a project will be an opportunity for students in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India to work on
cutting edge technology in a world-class project", he said.(UNI)

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