Why all these are not applicable to Tuticorin port or the one planned in AP or WB ?
What an eye opener! As an environmental engineer,disposal of sanitary napkins has always been a concern during waste...
Gap's contentions are quite ridiculous, to say the least. Good to know that GTG is going to fight the case! More power to such...
THE lions are going on a safari to see humans being evicted.
At stake is the culture and lifestyle of a community of tribals,
primarily forest-gatherers, rich in the knowledge of traditional
herbs and medicine. For, Madhya Pradesh (MP), the seams of
its kitty already bursting with tigers, is about to acquire new
members for its tourism department's roll of honour: a pride
Over 200 lions from Gir forest in Gujarat will displace
over 7,000 tribals, settled around the Pulpur Kuno, sanctuary
in Morena district of MP. Relocation may be a good idea for
the lions. Spreading out the population gives them a kind
of protection against local epidemics. Which prompts
us to ask the question: Why is it necessary to relocate the
It is not surprising that the villagers concerned are not
happy at the idea of having to live with the lions. Officials
have, therefore, decided that when the lions come marching
in, the villagers must troop out. While this sounds unfair
because the villagers were there before the lions, but as far as
the officials are concerned, they will pay the tribals to leave.
The tribals around the Pulpur
Kuno sanctuary depend upon the
local environment for their basic
needs like fodder for their cattle,
fuel for cooking, material for
building a house, or herbs for primary healthcare. Local environments, are also the womb where a
host of traditional sources of livelihood and handicrafts like basket
weaving, rope manufacturing fishing develop.
According to official plans, all
this is going to change. The 350-sq
km Kuno sanctuary will be
combined with the adjoining
forest to form a 700-sq km national
park, pushing out around 7,500
Shahariya tribals living in the area
and putting an end to livestock
grazing. The relocation site, a village called Agra on the fringe
of the sanctuary, has scanty forest growth. Officials will hence
encourage the Shahariyas to practice agriculture. Meanwhile,
to increase the food base for the lions, the forest will be stocked
with herbivores ranging from spotted dear, bluebull, sambar
and blackbuck. But here lies the weak link in the chain: if
forest officials have not done their homework, then the lives
and livestock of the 20,000 villagers of three villages, including
Karahal are at risk, as they fall in the proposed buffer zone
around the sanctuary.
The Shahariya tribals in the region make a living by
collecting and selling medicinal plants and herbs. Wholly
dependent on the forest and responsible for maintaining it,
the tribals will now be cut off from the woods and must now
buy even wood from the town for meeting their most basic
needs like making a bed.
The government will, of course, work out a compensation
package for those who are to be dispossessed. Unfortunately,
such packages neglect to take into account the loss in terms of
traditional sources of employment and the economic costs of
being deprived of access to a particular environment that is a
source of daily articles of consumption.
The government of MP has set up a committee comprising
the forest minister, the women's welfare minister and the
tribal welfare minister to oversee the relocation of the
tribals and the lions. According to forest minister Shiv
Netam, the project would be undertaken in three phases.
About Rs 64 crore has been sanctioned for the first phase, to be
completed by the year 2000, and about 60 per cent of the funds
will be used to rehabilitate the tribals.
But the officialdom would do
well to study and document the
Shahariya way of life and their
wealth of knowledge in plant
species and traditional medicine. It
would perhaps be the only tribute
they can pay to a tribe whose way
of life will vanish if it is relocated
from the forest to the farm.
What is happening is not new.
In an earlier attempt to protect Gir
lions, thousands of Maldharis who
were living traditionally in the Gir
forest were shifted from the area
and may even have been reduced
to penury. Will this injustice be
repeated in Kuno? The Kuno project began when Kamal Nath was
the Union minister of state for environment. He probably felt it
would give a tremendous boost to tourism in his home state.
This brings us to the final question: Who is going to
pay the environmental cost, or should we say the highest
cost, for relocating the lions? The prosperous state of
Gujarat, which has got rid of its excess lions; the rich
government of MP anticipating revenue from tourism
resulting from the inflow of wildlife enthusiasts into the
area; the government at the Centre; or the Shahariyas
from Morena: Who is going to be bearded by the bon in his