History of Silent Valley

  • The water sheds of Silent Valley area were first explored and investigated as early as in 1847.
  • The forest of the Silent Valley area was notified as reserved forest in 1914.
  • Certain portions of the Silent Valley forest area were subjected to forestry operations during 1927 to 1976.
  • In 1928-29 the location at Sairandhri on Kunthipuzha was identified as an ideal site for power generation.
  • The inventory and investigations were carried out in 1958 and a hydel power project of 120 MW costing INR 17 crore was proposed by the Kerala State Electricity Board.
  • The national committee on environmental planning and co-ordination (NCEPC) had studied the proposal for the hydel project and suggested 17 safe guards, in case the project cannot be abandoned.
  • In 1977, the Kerala Forest Research Institute carried out an ecological impact study in Silent Valley area and proposed the area to be declared as a biosphere reserve.
  • In 1978, the Hon. Prime Minister of India approved the project with the condition that the state government shall enact a legislation for ensuring the necessary safe guards.
  • IUCN (Ashkhabad,USSR, 1978) passed resolution recommending the protection of the lion-tailed macaque in Silent Valley area and Palakkad.
  • In 1979, government of Kerala passed an enactment viz. Silent Valley protection area (protection of ecological balance) act. 1979.
  • Dr. Salim Ali, eminent ornithologist visited the valley and appealed for abandoning the hydel project.
  • Kerala Sasthra Sahithya parishath published a techno- economic and socio-political assessment report on the Silent Valley hydroelectric project.
  • A writ petition was filed against the clear felling of forests in the hydroelectric project area before the Hon. High court of kerala and the Hon. Court ordered to stop the clear felling.
  • Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the renouned agricultural scientist visited the Silent Valley area and suggested to develop the Silent Valley and the adjoining forests as a national rain forest Biosphere reserve.
  • In January 1980, Hon. High Court of Kerala lifted the stay order on clear felling.
  • In 1980, Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Hon. Prime minister of India requested the government of Kerala to stop further works in the project area till all aspects were fully discussed.
  • In December 1980, government of Kerala declared the Silent Valley area, excluding the hydroelectric project area, as a National Park.
  • A multi-disciplinary committee, with prof. M.G.K. Menon as chairman was constituted to examine, whether the hydroelectric project is feasible without any significant ecological damage.
  • In early 1983, Prof. Menon committee submitted its report.
  • After the careful study of the menon report, the then hon. Prime minister of India decided to abandon the hydroelectric project.
  • on 15th november, 1984 the Silent Valley forests were declared as a National Park.
  • On 7th september 1985, the Silent Valley national park was formally inaugurated by Shri. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.
  • On 1st september 1986, the Silent Valley National Park was included in the core area of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  • On 11th June 2007 a Buffer Zone of 148 Sq. KM added to Silent Valley National Park.
  • On 23rd September 2007, Sri. V S Achuthananthan, Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala, dedicated the Buffer Zone to the nation