HYDERABAD: The state forest department says it is ready to conduct grama sabhas and clear all the apprehensions of tribals living in the Jannaram forest in Adilabad district who have been agitating against the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary.
Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, Hitesh Malhotra, principal chief conservator of forests, said the department could not understand what Jannaram forest inhabitants wanted and why they were agitating against the tiger reserve project.
The tribes were misled by some political leaders for their selfish ends, he said and made it clear that no rehabilitation package would be provided to the local communities as the proposed project would not affect any individual or community in the area.
No family has to be shifted out of the 893 sq km core area of KWS. But, there is an option to those inhabitants who come under core area of the sanctuary to take Rs 10 lakh as compensation for their relocation. The offer is not applicable to tribal inhabitants of another buffer zone of about 1,123 sq km of the sanctuary, he said.
KWS is being contemplated to protect, restore, manage and maintain representative biodiversity of the Deccan Plateau in the Sahyadri mountain range. The project also aims at conservation of ecological processes and wild gene pool with focus on tigers as it is an ideal forest for the tiger conservation, better than the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in the state, said SV Kumar, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife).
The department has formed 55 mobile teams, each consisting of five members and provided a jeep, for deputation to forests near national animal reserves, sanctuaries and parks. About 300 tribesmen have been hired to help them. The department has increased the staff strength to curb smuggling of forest wood. The department is striving to check deforestation.