Mankulam Special Division was formed on 11.04.1980, later the name has been changed to Mankulam Forest Division as per GO (MS) No 15/2009/ F&WLD dated 27.02.2009. The Head Quarters of the Division is located at Adimali. The Division comprises of Mankulam and Anakkulam Ranges. The extent of forests under the various Ranges in this Division is as follows:




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Mankulam at a Glance

Mankulam area was formerly a part of Kannan Devan Hills Village. A British Planter John Danieal Mandro had taken on lease an extent of 1,37,431.37 acres (556 Km2) from the Erst while Poonjar chief in the year 1877. Later on Poonjar Chief’s lease deed was ratified by erst while Government of Travancore. Major portion of the leased area was converted by the lessee for the cultivation of tea and coffee. When the lessee and his men traversed through Mankulam area they were taken a back by seeing the dense forest and rivers and numerous small streams. The area is supporting very rare and endangered flora. Each and every river and stream has got seasonal as well as perennial water falls such as Perumbankuthu, Kozhivalankuth, Chinnarkuthu etc. The team having found the ecological importance made a note that the Mankulam Area should not be cleared for the purpose of any cultivation and should be preserved as it is. The rivers such as Karinthiri aar, Menacheri aar, Nallathanni aar etc, which all join Periyar ultimately are perennial water source for the people staying down stream up to Arabian see.

Later on many govt. schemes such as Grow more food programme and rehabilitation of land less agriculture farmers etc caused the Mankulam forest area cleared partially and the same programme paved way for large scale encroachment.  

In the year 1971 KDH (Resumption of lands) Act was introduced. As per this Act, the entire extent of lands in KDH was taken over by the Government. Later, the land Board of Kerala after careful consideration of various issues involved passed its awards in 1974. As per this award, 70522.12 acres (285.4 Km2) of land in the Concession area were vested with the Government free from all encumbrances. For advising the Government in the scientific utilization of this land, an Expert Committee was constituted. Based on their report, a Government Order was issued in 1980 sanctioning the transfer of 43452.80 acres (175.85 Km2) to Forest Department and to be left as it is and an extent of 17922 acres (72.53 Km2) for afforestation. Subsequently, Eravikulam (26002 acres 105 Km2) was declared as a WLS in 1975 and NP in 1978 and Mankulam (22253.37 acres, 90 Km2) was notified as Reserved Forest in 2007. Unfortunately, much of its valley habitats got encroached and subsequently around 5200 acres were allotted to settlers.

Allotment of Plots by the Revenue Department

                Large number of plots were assigned in these areas during the eights and nineties, by the Revenue department and the process is still continuing.

                Under the cover of assignment, lot of people who were not assigned any land also encroached in to the forest area. Many have just occupied some land and they filed O.P. cases before the Honourable High Court claiming that they are entitled to assignment. Most of the people have got stay orders from the Court. A certified marked sketch of Mankualm Division has not been given by the Revenue Department. The sketch of the assigned areas also have not been given, by the Revenue authorities.

              Mankulam division was formed in the year 1980 vide order No. C4-37166/77 of District Collector, Idukki. In that order the area handed over to Forest Department for protection was 22253.37 acres. In fact the area was not surveyed and map was not prepared. A large extent of encroachments have taken place. A team for eviction of encroachments was formed with an Asst. Conservator of Forests as the head of team and two Forest Range Officers, one Sub Inspector, 3 Head Constable, 12 Police Constable, as other operating staff. They used to conduct eviction and fact were periodically reported to Forest Authorities as well as District Collector, Idukki As per KDH (Resumption of Lands) Act 1971 an extent of 5189 acres were ear marked for distribution to landless people. Distribution of the land to the landless people were not completed and people began to encroach upon land in the name of “allotted lands” for agriculture purpose. Actually 3707 acres were distributed and 1482 acres are yet to be distributed. The District Collector, Idukki till time had not furnished the sketch of lands ear marked for distribution nor the sketch of already distributed lands to Divisional Forest Officer, Mankulam or any authority. In the year 2007 the Mankulam Division was notified as per section-4 of Kerala Forest Act on 16/05/07 vide G.O (MS) 25/2007 dated 16/05/07 in which extent of Mankulam Division is given as 22253.37 acres. The Forest Settlement process is under way.







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