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Tribal Rehabilitation Burns A Hole In State’s Pockets
December 31, 2011
 
Tribal Rehabilitation Burns A Hole In State’s Pockets


Rehabilitation of tribals living within wildlife sanctuaries is proving to be an expensive affair for the State government.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/215834/tribal-rehabilitation-burns-hole-states.html

31 December 2011

Sandeep Moudgal, Bangalore:


Despite getting the third highest allocation of Rs 8.85 crore from the Centre for Project Tiger, the State Government is grappling with the primary situation of rehabilitating nearly 600 families from wildlife sanctuaries at a cost of Rs 10 lakh per family.

“The allocation made by the Centre for its own sponsored programme, Tiger Project, is minimal compared to what we require. With the contribution of the Centre expected to be at least 75 per cent, we cannot help even 10 families with the amount released,” Principal Secretary for Forests, Environment and Ecology, Kaushik Mukherjee said.

It is estimated that Karnataka will require at least Rs 60 crore for the tribals rehabilitation programme alone.

“We do not have any other option but to ensure that tribals within the sanctuaries are assimilated into the mainstream. This would mean getting them a piece of land for constructing their house and providing them a livelihood,” Mukherjee said.

Man-animal conflict
The department is hoping to rehabilitate all the 600 families in the next two to three years to complete the initial phase of conserving tigers in the forests by avoiding man-beast conflict.

It is learnt that the Department of Forests, Environment and Ecology has requested the Centre to release at least Rs 50 crore for the rehabilitation programme.

Synchronising projects
While the Project Tiger and Project Elephant is compartmentalised by the Centre to conserve the two great wildlife species, the State is now planning to integrate the two projects for its convenience.

“We are looking at the two projects as a single entity. Since both these wildlife species cohabitate in the core areas of the sanctuaries and forests in the State, they cannot be differentiated,” Mukherjee said.

Currently, the Centre has released Rs 10.51 crore for both the projects for 2011-12. In totality, the Centre has allocated Rs 18.57 crore for the centrally sponsored schemes.

FUNDS RELEASED:
  • Project Tiger: Rs.8.85 Crores
  • Project Elephant: Rs.1.65 Crores
  • National Affforestation Programme:Rs.3.4 Crores
  • Integrated Development of wildlife Habitats: Rs.2.12 Crores
  • Intensification of Forestry Management Scheme: Rs.2.17 Crores
  • The fund released are as of 30 November 2011 by the centre