People Being Relocated In Kerala To Avoid Conflict with Elephants
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 7 Mar 2023, 9:38 am IST
- 3 minutes read
- 479 non-tribal families voluntarily move out from Kerala forest land and settles in new places.
- Each Family willing to relocate from forest areas will be provided 15 lahks as compensation.
- 1990-batch IFS officer and PCCF Kerala Ms. Prakriti Srivastava focused on the humane values of this scheme.
Sixty-years old Sivaraman was on a morning walk near his village revelry when he was trampled to death by a wild elephant while. Villagers blamed the forest officials for their failure to issue timely warning and inability to ward off the pachyderm. It was just another instance of man-animal conflict ongoing in God’s Own Country.
To mitigate the crisis Kerala government has launched ‘Rebuild Kerala’ to relocate the non-tribal forest dwellers to new places outside forest areas. They are being offered a compensation besides being imparted training to ensure a steady income.
The financial package for Voluntary Relocation is Rs. 15 Lakh per eligible couple. Each adult member of the family and differently-abled persons, irrespective of age, will get an additional 15 lakh. Total 479 families are moving out of forests. 230 non-tribal families living in settlements located on forest land have been relocated and 249 more families will be moving out within the next three months as they have got their first installment. The scheme is being implemented in 19 forest divisions and wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala.
Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Principal Chief Conservators of Forests (PCCF) & Special Officer of Rebuild Kerala Development Programme, Ms. Prakriti Srivastava said, “People are emotionally attached with their homes. But we need to understand their situation. We call it a win-win solution, its benefit for both people and biodiversity.”
Those being relocated have been living in the forest since 1970s, when under ‘the grow more food programme’, people were made to settle in the forests. But better health services, education, communication facilities, employment, a regular income and easy access to provisions always eluded them. Conflict with wild animals added to their woes.
The 1990-batch IFS officer, Ms Prakriti Srivastava said, “The project has helped to convert 43.66 hectares of human settlement into natural forest. With the relocation, the total area of acquired settlement area will reach 109.45 hectares.”
KEEPING AN EYE
There is process of proper scrutiny on many levels to avoid any fraud or malpractices. To claim new settlement, people have to show their ownership right on old property inside forest. There is proper scrutiny of it. Many committees will thoroughly check all the details. Even, families have to submit their new property certificates, after that they will get their second instalment of financial aid.
Ms Prakriti said, “There are 687 applications under processing, and around 2,200 applications are being scrutinised. We have paid 34.35 crores as compensation to 230 families who have already relocated from the forest area.”
This project also addresses livelihood status of the beneficiaries who have availed the scheme by providing livelihood training and support such as tailoring, driving, electrical work, home nursing etc. It provides livelihood training to all family members, irrespective of their age. Families will get 25 thousand rupees for this training and equipments.
END OF THE ARTICLE
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