COIMBATORE: The residents of Thengumarahada are divided in their opinion on relocating out of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR). This came to the fore at the public hearing meeting held on Sunday by the committee appointed by Madras High Court on the issue.
While farmers said they wanted to stay in the place stating they have been cultivating for generations, others said they would consider relocating if the State government gave them compensation and housing similar to compensation given to the people in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR)
M Shanmugam (60), member of Thengumarahada Farming Society Limited, told The New Indian Express, "We have been cultivating vegetables here for three generations. I told officials that I will stay in the village since our forefathers gave the land to us. We coexist with wild animals though elephants damage crops frequently."
Thengumarahada panchayat president M Suguna said: "The committee must accept the majority view of locals. While farmers committee, which has 144 members, wanted to stay, but others wanted to relocate if the State government offers two acres of cultivable land along with a house and financial package."
A forest department official who attended the meeting said, “We heard opinions of the people and a report will be submitted to the Madras High Court on March 10.”