BENGALURU: The development of DB Kuppe village, which has 94 per cent tribal population, has resulted in a problem of sorts with two centrally-sponsored schemes vying with each other to tackle their issue of backwardness.
Incidentally, DB Kuppe is inside the core/critical tiger habitat of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve and ironically, Chamarajanagar MP R Dhruvanarayana has selected this village for development under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (village adoption scheme).
This even as 210 families of this village have volunteered to relocate under another Centrally-sponsored scheme.
Wildlife First trustee Praveen Bhargava, who has been involved in the relocation and resettlement project at Nagarahole Tiger Reserve said, “There is a genuine, voluntary demand for resettlement from the tribal people. And, 210 families have come forward to move out. They have given their consent to the authorities. Even as the resettlement project is under process, the MP has decided to adopt this village for development. This village provides an important link for elephants and tigers to move out from Nagarahole to Bandipur. Now if the MP goes ahead, the resettlement project scheme and model village scheme will be at loggerheads.”
Bhargava said, “Bad planning and lack of proper discussions is leading to the clash of the two Central government schemes. Any development inside the reserve will not only affect tigers but also elephants as the habitat (around DB Kuppe) are extremely sensitive, connecting two important reserves. There are several villages outside the Nagarahole Reserve which are craving for attention and can be developed as model village — why DB Kuppe?”
He said, “Apart from this, the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act prohibit fresh constructions and development inside. No permissions have been obtained from National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) or National Board for Wildlife.”
Speaking to Express, Dhruvanarayana said, “This village has 94 per cent tribal population and lacks even the basic facilities. The forest authorities have told me that since this village is based in thick reserve forests, no development works are possible. Further, the tribal people have now come forward to shift out voluntarily. However, any decision not to adopt this village will only be taken after discussions with the Panchayat members. I agree it will be good for them to relocate but we cannot insist on that.”
For relocation, each family is paid Rs.10 lakh. Any final decision (not to adopt) will only be taken on January 20, the MP added.
Critical Corridor for tigers, elephants
DB Kuppe village in HD Kote of Mysuru district, neighbouring Kerala, comprises the core and critical habitat of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. It is one of the narrowest corridors for elephants and tigers to move from Nagarahole to Bandipur. The 643 sq km tiger reserve, supporting a high density of tigers, forms part of a large, contiguous tiger landscape with the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the south, Wayanad and Brahmagiri to the south-west. Home to a considerable number of breeding female tigers, this entire stretch is considered as a core, critical tiger habitat. Over the years, a major voluntary resettlement project is going on with funding support from NTCA.