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Theni fire likely to affect trekking activities in Trichy

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The tragic wildfire incident in Kolukkumalai of Theni may have a knock-on effect on the ongoing eco-tourism programmes in Trichy as the authorities are likely to suspend trekking as a precaution to avoid similar accidents.
The forest department has sought the status of the eco-tourism activities in every district especially about the trekking expedition being conducted. Sources said that authorities might put on hold activities during this summer.
While Patchamalai hills in Trichy has been offering trekking activities under the eco-tourism activities, the Kurangani accident may prove out to be a setback. Only recently the forest department has slashed the cost of its accommodation and trekking activities which increased the tourist flow to the hill.

However, visitors may stay at Machan which are put up by the forest department at eco-tourism centre Top Sengattupatti. The foresters have identified a total of four trekking routes snaking along some of the scenic forest that cuts through three waterfalls.
Forest department has been prompting eco-tourism activities in the hill with the participation of tribal community at Patcahmalai over the past few months. “We have received some bookings for next month as well,” said Trichy district forest officer D Sujatha. She said that decision would be made as per the instruction from the headquarters.

Though the Trichy forest situated in the tail-end of Eastern Ghats is one of the hottest regions in the state, there are apparently no continuous forest ranges that can naturally prevent huge wildfire, said conservation scientist A Kumaraguru.
However, preventive steps including the creation of fire lines and employing fire watchers have to be should be taken to curtail any eventuality, he said


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