8 Villages Refuse to be Relocated from Palamu Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand

Reported by

Nupur SonarLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

April 29, 2020

Location of Conflict

Gopkhaad

,

Latehar, Latu, Kujurum, Pandra, Gutwa, Bijaypur, Henar, Ramandag

Palamu

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

Tiger Conservation

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

3084

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

620

ha

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In May 2017, eight villages in the Palamu Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand received letters from the forest department proposing to relocate them outside the reserve for expansion of the core area to facilitate tiger breeding. As a result, the villages that were earlier part of the buffer zone of the reserve will now fall within the core area. To suggest that this was an urgent matter, the letter cited a Jharkhand High Court order of February 2017, which concerned a public interest litigation on the decreasing tiger numbers in Palamu. Of the eight villages, Kujurum, Latu, Pandra, Gopkhar, Gutwa, Bijaypur and Henar are located in Garu block in Palamu district, and Ramandag village is located in Barwadih block in Latehar district. According to media reports, the families proposed to be relocated have been offered INR 15 lakh as compensation, which includes the cost of land for construction of a house and cost of construction as well. In August 2017, the residents of six villages in Garu block held a demonstration outside the office of the block development officer (BDO). They also wrote letters to the forest officer and the BDO, opposing the proposal to relocate them. They held more demonstrations in November and December where they also opposed the move to expand the tiger reserve. According to media reports, Gopakhar village is home to the Nagesia tribe, classified by the Government of India as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. The tribe was displaced in the 1950s when a reservoir and a residential school was built in the Netarhat hills. Residents of all the eight villages depend on agriculture and forest produce for their livelihood. Though the forest department says Kujurum and Latu residents want to move, we do not agree on this. We received news that Kujurum villagers refused to shift to Dubiyakhad between Daltonganj and Betla as the land there is rocky. There is a proposal to shift them to Mahuadanr block in Latehar, but there are already people living there, said Jerome Kujur, in an interview to Down To Earth in December 2018. Kujur is the general secretary of Jan Sangharsh Samiti, a Jharkhand-based organisation fighting for people's livelihoods. There is immense pressure on two villages, Latu and Kujurum to consent to relocation. However, people in all of the villages have refused to relocate,

Region Classification

Type of Land

Common

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

10.28

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

620

ha

Starting Year

2017

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Forest Department of Jharkhand, National Tiger Conservation Authority

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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