Shifting of Navargaon village in Bor Tiger Reserve begins

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jan 2017 09:57:58

By Ramesh Marulkar

As a step towards making Bor Tiger Reserve inviolate, Forest Department has been able to rehabilitate 205 families of the total 294 from Navargaon village to Khadki village (Hanuman Temple) situated on Nagpur-Wardha Road.

Navargaon is the only village in Bor Tiger Reserve, spread in 238.12 sq km area, in Wardha district. The Department gave Rs one lakh as mobilisation fund to each of the 205 tribal families to initiate shifting process. Now, 89 families belonging to Gawali Samaj are left in Navargaon. Forest officials will hold a meeting with Sindhutai Sapkal, a noted social worker, at Navargaon January 5 to finalise shifting of these remaining families and make agreement. The total budget for compensation and land value for Navargaon is Rs 70 crore.

This was disclosed by M S Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forest and Field Director, Pench Tiger Reserve and In-charge of Bor Tiger Reserve, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’ here on Tuesday. He hoped that the meeting on January 5 would be fruitful and the remaining families would start shifting to Navargaon shortly. The department wants to hold flag-hoisting ceremony at the new site of Khadki on January 26, he added.

All the families have preferred to take compensation of Rs 10 lakh each under Option I. On humanitarian ground, the department would allot 1,500 sq ft plots to each of 205 families free of cost and provide basic amenities there. The process of constructing houses at Khadki has already begun, he said.

The 89 Gawali families have purchased a piece of land near Wardha for relocation, where they would live together, he added.

Reddy pointed that 86 families living in Navargaon had an agriculture land spread in 218 hectares. The department has given 50 per cent of the land value to 53 landholders having submitted NOC so far. There are another 17 families having land in Navargaon but they do not reside there. These persons would also be given land value. The villagers feel that with their shifting to Khadki on Nagpur-Wardha highway they got the easy facility of communication. The villagers used to go to Butibori during summer in search of job to earn livelihood but now Butibori is very nearby, which is an added advantage to them. As for rehabilitation of Fulzari, the only village to be shifted from Pench Tiger Reserve, Reddy mentioned that out of a total of 118 families, as many as 50 families have already left the village and gone to Sangrampur village, situated just two km away from Ramtek. All the families preferred Option I to get compensation of Rs 10 lakh each. Now, 68 families are to be left in Fulzari. The department has also organised a meeting with these family members next week, Reddy pointed out. Both Pench and Bor Tiger Reserves will become inviolate areas for wild animals once these two villages are relocated outside.