When the 46 families from Tehri were relocated in Raiwala village, due to construction of the Tehri dam back in 1979, they had no clue what was in store for them. They were given land, registered in their name in lieu of their homes in Tehri. Now, more than three decades later, the problems in the area are apparent to the residents. Attacks from animals, mainly elephants and leopards, from the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, is a fear that the 14 remaining families of Raiwala constantly live with.
In 2013, 32 families were relocated to Rishikesh, the 14 were not.
"When the relocation was done, the 32 families and the 14 were divided by a stretch of vacant land. The area where the 32 families lived was in the corridor used by elephants. Therefore, only those 32 families were relocated," Range Officer of Motichur, Rajaji Tiger Reserve, Vikas Rawat said.
However, over the years the animals have started attacking people from the other side of the vacant plot, where the 14 families live. "In the last three years, 14 people have become victims of leopards and elephants. My daughter was picked up by a leopard last year. We just want the Uttarakhand Forest Department to relocate us," a local, Sohan Singh Negi said.
They have met with the forest department officials on numerous occasions regarding the same. But, till now, nothing has been done by the department even as everyday, the village is embroiled in some form of a mananimal conflict.
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