Area cleared by a group of people for conduct of temple festival
Days after butterfly feeders were placed on the bund of Singanallur tank, a patch of vegetation that was part of a butterfly habitat at the waterbody was cleared by a group of people for a customary observance of a nearby temple festival.
Nature enthusiasts said that host plants of several species of butterflies were cleared to erect the platform for the ritual which was held on Thursday night.
According to them, the habitat destroyed on the tank bund used to attract butterflies including Crimson Rose which comes under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. They added that 110 species of butterflies were recorded in the area.
When contacted, M. Selvan, assistant commissioner of Corporation’s East Zone, told that devotees had obtained permission to conduct the ritual on the bunds of the tank.
“The customary ritual is performed on the tank premises every year. The permission was granted on the instructions of the Corporation Commissioner. The devotees were allowed to perform the ritual at a place where they conduct it every year,” he said.
Those engaged in afforestation works at the tank said that they had sought the devotees to select a vacant land at the entrance of the tank close to the boat house to perform the ritual. However, Corporation, that had declared the tank as its Urban Biodiversity Conservation Zone in 2017, granted permit to clear the vegetation which is situated around 100 metre away from the vacant land.
Ironically, Coimbatore Corporation in collaboration with the Centre for Urban Biodiversity Conservation and Education had installed butterfly feeders on the tank bund to supplement the nectar need of visiting butterflies. Deputy Commissioner of Corporation S. Prasanna Ramasamy had taken part in the event.
District Collector K. Rajamani said that he will look into the alleged destruction of butterfly habitat.