Representational Image (Photo | Express)
Representational Image (Photo | Express)

Telangana makes false claim about relocating 2 villages from tiger reserve

Telangana has proposed to divert 6.3 Hectares of forest land to build black tar roads and in this effort, it told the Environment Ministry's Committee that it had relocated two villages in the area.

HYDERABAD: The Telangana Forest Department has falsely claimed to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) that it has relocated two villages that were once inside the Kawal Tiger Reserve to other locations. Ironically, for its claim, the department has even received a pat on the back from the Ministry officials. When Express contacted a senior forest officer working under the Kawal Tiger Reserve circle, he denied any relocation having been carried out.

This is not the first time that the Telangana Forest Department has made a claim to the MoEF which could not be verified as true. Earlier, Express had reported how the department had informed the Ministry that it had conducted a public hearing on demarcation of the eco sensitive zone (ESZ) of KBR National Park in Hyderabad, but the same could not be verified as true.

The Regional Empowered Committee (REC) of MoEF recently conducted its 48th meeting virtually and recommended ‘forest clearance’ to Telangana government’s proposal to divert 6.3 Ha of forest land under the Kawal Tiger Reserve to lay a BT (black tar) Road between Muthnoor and Fakheernaik thanda in Adilabad district.

Minutes of the REC meeting state: “The PCCF, Telangana, informed the committee that, two village hamlets have already been relocated from Tiger reserve to other places.” However, the Forest Department has not yet relocated 142 families of two tribal villages — Maisampet and Rampur — located inside the reserve, although the Centre has sanctioned funds for the purpose and approved diversion of 112 Ha of forest land where the villages are to be relocated.

Also, as per the minutes of the REC meeting, Telangana has submitted proposals for 16 BT (black tar) roads inside Kawal Tiger Reserve or its eco-sensitive zone, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, with most of them requiring forest clearance of less than 2 Ha.

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