Centre gives nod for relocation of villages in Palamu Tiger Reserve - Hindustan Times
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Centre gives nod for relocation of villages in Palamu Tiger Reserve

ByVishal Sharma, Latehar
Aug 10, 2023 09:34 PM IST

The relocation policy announced by the PTR authorities stated that each 18-year-old male member would be considered a single unit or family and would be entitled to either ₹15 lakh in cash or five acres of land. There are 120 families in Kujrum, 90 in Laatu, and 60 in Jaigir villages.

The Union ministry of forests, climate change, and environment has granted stage two clearance for the transfer of 166 hectares of reserve forest land for non-forest use, paving the way for the relocation of three villages outside the core area of the Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR).

The Union ministry has paved the way for the relocation of three villages outside the core area of the Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) (HT File)
The Union ministry has paved the way for the relocation of three villages outside the core area of the Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) (HT File)

According to officials, around 270 families need to be settled on this land located at Lai-Paila Pathal in the reserve under the Latehar forest division.

The relocation policy announced by the PTR authorities stated that each 18-year-old male member would be considered a single unit or family and would be entitled to either 15 lakh in cash or five acres of land. There are 120 families in Kujrum, 90 in Laatu, and 60 in Jaigir villages.

Ashish Kumar, the deputy director of PTR’s South Division, said, “In the first phase, we have identified three priority villages for relocation: Kujrum, Laatu, and Jaigir. Together, these villages comprise 270 units. We will offer them either 15 lakh in cash or 5 acres of land.”

Officials said that after the Union ministry clears the identified land for settling the displaced families, the authorities will issue a notification to de-reserve the forest land.

Subsequently, a district-level committee, led by the deputy commissioner of Latehar, will hold meetings with all stakeholders, including the affected families and forest department officials, to finalise the micro plan for the development of the proposed site, they added.

“The actual groundwork will commence after the proceedings and micro plan are reviewed by a state-level monitoring committee led by the Chief Secretary. The entire process is expected to take at least a month,” the deputy director explained.

Ashish Kumar said the new settlement will include amenities such as hospitals, schools, roads, and other basic facilities.

PTR field director, Ashutosh Kumar, said, “Relocating these three villages out of the core area will create a large inviolate area where tigers can thrive. We plan to expedite the process.”

However, officials close to the developments said there are challenges to overcome before the ambitious relocation plan can be initiated as most families are demanding land.

Lallu Oraon, the gram pradhan of Kujrum village, said, “We are willing to move out, but only if we are provided with land as per the process. We have decided to offer cash to elderly individuals and land to the rest of the beneficiaries.”

Oraon added, “Only 30 individuals have chosen to take the money.”

Presently, the PTR covers an area of 1,129 square kilometres in Latehar and parts of the Garhwa district and is home to tigers, as indicated by recent tiger estimation data released by the Union ministry. It is one of the first nine tiger reserves in the country.

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