Committee to meet Thengumarahada residents for their relocation
Chennai: An eight-member committee will meet the residents of Thengumarahada on March 6 to discuss the strategies adopted regarding their relocation from Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve(STR) and Madumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).
The committee, constituted by the Madras High Court, comprises of the field director of STR, who is the convener of the committee, Madumalai Tiger Reserve( MTR) field director, district collectors, and district forest officers from Erode, Coimbatore and the Nilgiris.
This is for the first time that officers drawn from the revenue and forest departments are conducting a public hearing on the relocation of residents of Thengumarahada.
Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu, Shekar Kumar Neeraj told IANS: “It is to be noted that 500 acres of land was allocated to Thengumarahada cooperative society between 1948 to 1952 for 142 families. After this, all these families sub-leased this land to 500 families which is a blatant violation of the government orders.”
The officer said that while most of the land in possession of the Thengumarahada is in the buffer zone of MTR, a part of the boundary is in the core area of STR.
Neeraj said that many people have taken the land on sub-lease to cultivate cash crops like banana and sugarcane. He added that the village was an important connecting point between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats.
The Forest department said that people will be relocated from Thengumaradha due to the increasing tiger population in the STR and MTR.
People who are legal landowners will be provided with compensation or land, he added.