Tamil Nadu

Thengumarahada village ready to relocate

350 families decided to move out of the village, unable to tackle problems that arose after the establishment of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.  

On Monday, 350 families at Thengumarahada, a scenic village along the Moyar river in Kotagiri Taluk on the northern slopes of The Nilgiris, decided to move out.

“Four generations ago, people came here to work the farmland. After the establishment of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, the villagers face problems in transport, education and several other social issues,” B. Irudhayaraj, president of the Thengumarahada panchayat, told The Hindu.

“Monsoon failure affected farming, resulting in a huge income loss. And the man-animal conflict led to a collective decision to get relocated,” he said.

The village can be accessed by road only from Erode district, and the forest path traverses 25 km through the core habitat of the tiger reserve.

Monday’s meeting was organised by the Tamil Nadu Green Movement (TNGM), an NGO working to protect the wildlife.

S. Jayachandran of the TNGM said the NGO had already facilitated relocation of villagers out of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, and this was the second attempt at freeing a core tiger habitat of human interference.

In Karnataka, over 500 families that had lived in the core forest areas have been relocated, thanks to the efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

P.M. Muthanna, Assistant Director, WCS India Programme, said that at Nagarhole, 560 families were relocated, and they got Rs. 1 lakh and three acres till 2006. The WCS facilitated a similar relocation in Wayanad, where 150 families were shifted out.

In Tamil Nadu, relocation of villagers from core tiger habitats has not gathered pace. “If we get the financial subsidy within the next few months, we are ready to move out of Thengumarahada immediately,” Mr. Irudhayaraj said.

If things move in the right direction, nearly 1,000 acres will be added to the forests of the Nilgiris North Forest Division in a year.

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Printable version | Sep 13, 2021 11:17:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/thengumarahada-village-ready-to-relocate/article6370554.ece

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