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Karnataka: Forest department proposes to enhance rehabilitation package for families moving out of protected areas

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Head of Forest Force) Sanjai Mohan said, “Yes, we had submitted a proposal to the state government to enhance the package."

Written by Aksheev Thakur | Bengaluru |
January 19, 2022 8:17:29 pm
In Karnataka, 1,355.26 hectares of forest land has been diverted for non-forestry purposes in the past five years. (Representational image)

The Karnataka forest department has proposed to the state government to enhance the rehabilitation package of families volunteering to move out from protected areas that have not been notified as tiger reserves from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.

Confirming the development, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Head of Forest Force) Sanjai Mohan said, “Yes, we had submitted a proposal to the state government to enhance the package. We are awaiting the government’s approval.”

The families which choose to move out of protected areas are given two options. Under the first option, the Karnataka government gives a financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the families that volunteer to move out of protected areas without the help of the forest department.

Under the second option, relocation is carried out by the forest department through construction of houses and other amenities under a Rs 15-lakh package.

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Wildlife conservationist Giridhar Kulkarni in September 2021 had submitted a memorandum to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Vijaykumar Gogi and state Forest Minister Umesh Katti appealing to enhance the funding assistance from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh under Option 1. He has also requested that the provision of the package should also cover people living in the buffer areas of the tiger reserves.

“It is important to enhance the funding assistance for voluntary village relocation from Rs 10 lakh per family to Rs 15 lakh per family (for Option-I of package) to the people living inside Sanctuaries and National Parks which have not been notified as Tiger Reserves and also extend it to the buffer areas of the Tiger Reserves.

 

 

“This would surely boost the confidence among thousands of such families (living inside Sanctuaries and National Parks of the State) that are willing to opt for voluntary village rehabilitation for their better future. As a result, this would also fasten the rehabilitation process which would ultimately be a win-win situation for both people and wildlife, an important initiative in reducing human-wildlife conflict,” Kulkarni stated in his memorandum to the minister and the forest department.

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