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227 families to be evicted for the expansion of the Dampa Tiger Reserve in India

Their second eviction since 1989.

Forest officials had already imposed restrictions on jhum cultivation that are the community’s main source of livelihood.

227 families belonging to the Chakma community from Andermanik village are to be evicted for the expansion of the Dampa Tiger Reserve (TR). Forest officials had already imposed restrictions on jhum cultivation that are the community’s main source of livelihood. For some amongst those to be evicted now, it will be a 2nd eviction as they had been moved once in 1989 when the Dampa TR was created. In other cases it was an earlier generation that had been displaced. They had been moved outside the TR area and settled at the present Andermanik village.

The villagers are opposed to the relocation. They link it to the fact that they never got the promised compensation when they were displaced the first time. The villagers have also pointed out that even today their village has no road connectivity and no health care centre. The villagers have to walk nearly 18 kms through difficult terrain to Rajiv Nagar to get basic things like the PDS grain or medicines.

They are also not clear about the choices to be made this time – between Option I which is a financial package of Rs. 10 lakhs per family and Option II where the Forest Department has the responsibility for the relocation/rehabilitation of the villages from the tiger reserve.

Source: ‘Mizoram’s Dampa tiger reserve to evict 227 tribal families’, www.merinews.com, 25/09/10. In Protected Area Update. Vol XV1. No 6. December 2010. News and Information from protected areas in India and South Asia

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