BARIPADA: In a bid to free the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) from human interference, the forest authorities have this week shifted 35 families living in Jamunagarh village in the core area of the biosphere and rehabilitated them at Nabra, a new rehabilitation colony developed under Udala police limits in Mayurbhanj district.
Deputy Director of STR Ajit Kumar Satpathy said as per the Government rules, at least 10 decimals of land have been provided to each family for their permanent shelter.
The relocation plan was formulated in 2008 and first implemented in 2010. Earlier, the STR authorities had shifted families from Jenabil in 2010 and Upper Barhakamuda and Bahaghar villages in 2013. They were shifted to Ambdhia in Udala range, Ashankud in Thakurmunda block.
There were about 146 tribal families residing in three villages of Jamunagarh, Bakua and Kabatkhai that fall in the core area of the sanctuary. According to the guidelines of the sanctuary, no human settlement in the core area is allowed as it would affect the natural environment of the wildlife habitat.
Satpathy said families that are living particularly in the core area of STR sprawling over 2750 sq km would be rehabilitated in phased manner. “We have noticed that the presence of animals is more in the areas that are declared non-violent zone where neither public vehicle nor any type of communication is allowed,” he said.
The Deputy Director said though Similipal is one of the largest tiger reserves in the country, it is yet to get the national park status due to presence of human habitations inside the core area.
The biosphere reserve is home to elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, leopards, boars, deer and various other animals. People of Kabatkhai and Bakua villages will be shortly shifted to suitable places in the district.
Cash benefit of Rs 10 lakh is given to each displaced family under the rehabilitation package. While a person above 18 years is considered as a family unit, a family either can opt for cash or seek house, agriculture land and other facilities.
Though Similipal is one of the largest tiger reserves of the country, it is yet to get the national park status due to the presence of human habitations inside the core area
There were about 146 tribal families residing in three villages of Jamunagarh, Bakua and Kabatkhai that fall in the core area of the sanctuary