The proposal for a hydro-electric project near the Silent Valley National Park has got a setback with the Kerala government deciding to form a buffer zone for the park on June 6, 2007. The 148 sq km zone binding the park on all sides except the north, includes Attappady, Mannarkkad and Kalikavu forest ranges and the tribals in the area would not be evacuated.

State forest minister Binoy Viswam said the zone would get a reserve forest status and a new range, Bhavani forest range. The range will take care of 94 sq km of the buffer zone. The remaining 54 sq km will be brought under the existing Silent Valley range of the national park. "The zone is a necessity,' Viswam said. The cabinet will look into the proposed Parthrakadavu Hydroelectric Project, he said. The proposal is awaiting environmental clearance from the centre (see