After laying down rules for regulating tourism in critical tiger habitats, the Centre has now suggested a rehabilitation programme for tribals living around them to save the endangered animal from traditional hunting.

“There is an urgent need to launch a rehabilitation and development programme for denotified tribes and tribes involved in traditional hunting, living around tiger reserves and tiger corridors,” say the fresh guidelines on tiger conservation notified by the Centre.

According to the Environment Ministry, the denotified tribes and communities like Behelias, Ambalgars, Badaks, Mongias, Bavariyas, Monglias, Pardhi, Boyas, Kaikads, Karwal Nat, Nirshikaris, Picharis, Valayaras, Yenadis, Chakma, Mizo, Bru, Solung and Nyishi are involved in traditional hunting of wild animals.

“While this list is not exhaustive, around 5,000 such families are required to be taken up under a welfare programme (forming part of National Tiger Conservation Authority initiatives) during the (12th) Plan period,” it says.

The Guideline underlines that the rehabilitation and welfare package should be evolved in a site specific, consultative manner with livelihood options.

The livelihood options include wages for such people towards their deployment in foot patrolling for protecting wildlife, providing agricultural land with irrigation, basic health care, housing and related community welfare inputs and basic education facilities.

Last week, the Supreme Court had allowed the Centre to notify within a week its fresh guidelines on tiger conservation and indicated that it may modify its July 24 order staying all tourism activities in the reserved areas across the country.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar, had however, made it clear that the States, if aggrieved by the guidelines, are free to challenge it before the court.