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Relocate people in tiger reserve within time frame: Panel to Centre



The Pioneer, New Delhi, 13th August, 2015


A parliamentary panel has askedthe Centre to ensure that the three-phase relocation programme of people living inside the core area of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) is implemented within the stipulated time frame.


MTR is situated at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerela. It is contiguous with Wyanaad Wildlife Sanctuary on the west and Bandipur Tiger Reserve on the north.


Noting that the relocation is pending due to delay in sanction of the required central assistance, the department- related Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology and Environment and Forests also recommended that financial assistance of over Rs 23 crore for relocation must be considered by the Centre "expeditiously".


"The committee recommends that necessary financial assistance to the tune of Rs 23.50 crore for relocation may be considered expeditiously.


"The committee also recommends that the central government should also ensure that the entire three-phase relocation programme in MTR, Udhagamandalam is implemented within the time frame stipulated for the purpose," the panel chaired by former Union minister Ashwani Kumar said in its report.


The committee noted that the people living inside the core area of the tiger reserve are voluntarily willing to be relocated and the relocation plan has been worked out by the Tamil Nadu government and the proposal seeking financial assistance for the first phase of relocation has been sent to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) under the Environment Ministry.


MTR also forms part of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve.


The area is important and unique habitat known for varied flora and fauna which provides an ecologically sustainabl habitat for about 70 tigers, 800-1000 elephants apart from other wild animals.


The three-phase relocation plan has already been prepared for which approximately Rs 63 crore would be required. For the implementation of the first phase, Rs 24 crore (approx) was required.


The relocation proposal phase 1 proposes to relocate two villages namely Bennai and Nellikarai out of seven. Relocation phase 2 proposes to relocate three villages -- Puliyalam, Mandakkarai and Nagampally, and the third phase will seek to relocate two other villages.