A delegation of nearly 15 persons, including office-bearers of the Valparai Merchants Federation and various other associations, on Wednesday left for Chennai to urge officials to exclude Valparai from the core and buffer areas of Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

A. Jebaraj, president of the federation, said that traditionally Valparai had been a land of plantations providing livelihood to thousands of workers from backward and suppressed communities. It houses a number of reservoirs and hydrel power stations. In addition, there are a number of places of worship frequented by devotees for hundreds of years.