99 families to be displaced from Satkosia sanctuary’s core area

Bantala: 99 families of tribal-dominated Raiguda village inside the tiger reserve project of Satkosia sanctuary will be displaced as the Centre plans to accommodate two more big cats in the project, a report said. 

Raiguda in Badakuntakal panchayat under Bantala police limits is over 100 years old and is situated in the core area of the sanctuary.
The villagers will be rehabilitated in 17 acres of land near Sarualisahi in Nuakheta village under the supervision of forest and revenue officials.
The decision of rehabilitation, it appears, has brought cheer to the villagers who had been living lives of deprivation and drudgery inside the sanctuary. They were deprived of basic facilities and had to trek over eight km on jungle route to connect with the outside world.
At the outset of the rehabilitation programme, the villagers will be provided thatched houses and subsequently pucca houses, a forest official said.

Provision of road, power connection and drinking water facilities will be made before rehabilitating them in the place, the official added.
A sum of `9.95 crore will be spent to displace the 99 families comprising 193 persons. Besides, each family will receive four decimal of land in the new place for construction of their houses. The new settlement will have electricity, ponds, cremation ground, community centre, temples, playground, health centre and pastureland in near future.

The villagers will also be included under various welfare schemes of the Centre and state like Indira Awas Yojana, Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana and old-age pension.
The villagers had earlier sought rehabilitation as they had no means of livelihood inside the forest but for occasional engagement by the forest department.

Besides, they used to remain indoors after sundown making it difficult to provide medical attention to the sick. Villagers Narottam Pradhan, Naran Pradhan and Ram Pradhan while welcoming the decision said they should be rehabilitated immediately with all the basic facilities.

Confirming the move, Satkosia divisional forest officer SMDT Rahman said arrangements are being made to provide more compensation to the displaced villagers.  PNN

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