Finally, villages at Ranthambore to be relocated
12 Jul 2008, 0601 hrs IST, Anindo Dey,TNN
JAIPUR: At least two villages would soon be relocated from the Ranthambore National Park to make place for the growing tiger population in the park. The land for relocation has been identified and a cash package for the same has been sanctioned by the Centre.
"We are in the process of convincing the villagers for relocation as it cannot be forced on them. One of the villages that has been identified is Indala and the other one depends on the willingness of the villagers," said R S Shekhawat, district forest officer, Ranthambore.
The four villages for relocation in the first phase have been identified by the Ranthambore forest officials as Indala, Kathuli, Mordungari and Bhir, which have about 350 families living in them. The second phase will see relocation of seven more villages. There are about 100 villages in and around Ranthambore that need to be relocated from the park.
The decision for relocation comes in wake of the growing tiger population. At present there are about 40 tigers and cubs in the park. The growing number of tigers has forced some of them to enter the greener pastures outside the park. First it was a tigress that had wandered away from the park to the adjacent Kailadevi sanctuary and now it is a male tiger that has gone into Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh. "We have done a profiling of the tigers at the park based on the pattern of the stripes on their body. We are sure that the tiger that has been located at Shivpuri is one from our park," said forest officials.
Tigers wandering away from the Ranthambore reserve are not a new phenomena and this has been happening for a long time. Infact, wildlife experts have conclusive evidence of tigers from Ranthambore migrating to distant places and ultimately falling prey to poachers.
Currently, the Ranthambore forest authorities are charting out moves to make more space for the growing tiger population. "We have already shifted two tigers from our reserve to Sariska. Some more will be going there. This, along with the relocation of some villages should make more space for them. In fact, the space occupied by one village is equivalent to the territory of a tigress while a tiger needs space equal to what two or three tigresses would need," added Shekhawat.