Shifting of Tadoba villages gets fillip
Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN 12 November 2009, 06:17am IST
NAGPUR: The state government has asked the revenue and forest department officials to expedite the relocation of villages inside the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district. Five full villages and some families of Kolsa village still remain inside the core area of the tiger reserve.
The issue was discussed in a meeting called on October 30 in Mumbai by principal secretary (forests) B P Pandey. He had asked the officials concerned to speed up the process of shifting villages out of the reserve that has seen increased poaching pressure in recent times.
On Wednesday, another meet was called by divisional commissioner Sanjeev Kumar. It was attended by Nandkishore, chief conservator of forests (CCF) for Nagpur Wildlife Circle, who has also been named as the nodal officer for the work, Chandrapur district collector Pradeep Kalbhor, officials from Chandrapur zilla parishad and irrigation department.
Nandkishore said officials were asked to prepare revised estimate in a month on resettling 778 families from four villages- Jamni, Navegaon (Ramdegi), Palasgaon (Shingru) and Rantalodi inside TATR. "Officials are at work to seek options from individual families whether they want money or want to be resettled by the department. Accordingly, proposals will be sent to the union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) for funds," Nandkishore said.
As per the new norms, each family will get a Rs 10 lakh package. It includes 35% for agriculture land, 30% for settlement of rights, 20% for house construction, 5% for incentive and 10% for community facilities like drinking water, electricity, irrigation, sanitation, roads, place of worship, burial et. al. Those not wanting to be resettled can opt for Rs 10 lakh cash.
Till now, around 116 families - 45 landless families from Botezari and 71 from Kolsa have been rehabilitated in compartment number 524 in Tolewahi in Mul forest range. However, over 70 landholders from Kolsa still remain and efforts are on to persuade them to move out. When contacted, Chandrapur collector Kalbhor directed all queries to forest officials.
Tiger reserves have been declared critical tiger habitats and these areas have to be made inviolate to create more spaces for tigers. The new tiger conservation plan (TCP) envisages minimum 800-1000 sq km area for one tiger reserve. This area is needed to accommodate 20 breeding tigresses, to help maintain a population of 60-70 tigers. Resettlement of all the villages from TATR can create space for up to 10 more tigers over existing population of about 42 tigers, experts said.