T he long pending demand of the 3,000 families living in Kali Tiger Reserve has finally been met. For long, the people have been demanding for either basic facilities or relocation.
The Kali Tiger Reserve has finally initiated the process to relocate the families.
Several non government organisations and locals have joined hands with the Forest Department and so far, 65 families have moved outside the forest in the last six months. Another 500 families now await relocation.
Unlike other tribal settlements in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts, those in Kali are small. For instance, some of the hamlets or villages in the reserve have only two or four houses.
Wildlife experts point out that relocating the small hamlets is more economical for the government than constructing roads and providing other facilities inside the forest.
K Sreenivasulu, Director of Kali Tiger Reserve said, “Many families are unable to take up agriculture because their safety is risked due to movement of tigers and elephants.
“Since there are no medical facilities available here, elderly and pregnant women are carried all the way to the nearest hospital. The people are now changing their perspective and are ready to move.
“We are trying to relocate them to places such as Joyda, Karwar and Yellapur where agricultural land can be given to them.”
Tiger biologist K Ullas Karanth said, “Large scale relocations on the lines of Bhadra and Nagarhole forests is the need of the hour in Kali Tiger Reserve. We need a comprehensive proposal from Dandeli to the National Tiger Conservation Authority so that a large chunk of people who are willing to move out are facilitated.”