Rajasthan to relocate villages for tiger corridor

Jaipur, April 17 (IANS) Rajasthan will relocate over two dozen villages to develop a biosphere reserve corridor that will connect three sanctuaries to ensure safe roaming of wild animals like tigers, officials said Tuesday.

A senior forest department officer told IANS that the corridor will connect Ranthambore National Park with Kaila Devi Wildlife Sanctuary in Karauli district and Sawai Mansingh wildlife Sanctuary in Sawai Madhopur district.

Ranthambore National Park is at present home to over 50 tigers and is also in Sawai Madhopur district, some 150 km from Jaipur.

“The corridor will ensure a tiger habitat in an area of 11,00 square kilometres,” an official said.

“The state government had prepared a list of 24 villagers which would have to be relocated in the first phase to develop the corridor and sent it to the National Tiger Conservation Authority,” the officer said.

The NTCA has given the in-principal approval to the relocation and has also earmarked a budget of Rs.250 crore for the project, the officer added.

The officer said the government will start relocation of these 24 villages after receiving the money from the NTCA.

Due to increasing tiger numbers in Ranthambore National Park, incidents of territorial fights among the big cats and their straying into human habitats are on the rise.

“The corridor will give the big cats freedom to roam in a bigger area and also provide plenty of prey to them,” said the officer.

He added that the corridor will also reduce the possibility of poaching as it will be declared protected.

“Wherever necessary, the villages will be shifted. The animals will be able to roam in different sanctuaries without any threat,” said the officer.

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