Assam: 19 families freeing Elephant Corridor in Karbi Anglong
GUWAHATI: The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) allotted houses to 19 families of Ram Terang Village today to set up a model Karbi village. These families had voluntarily decided to relocate from Ram Terang village located within the Kalapahar-Doigurung(KD) Elephant Corridor to a site near Sar Kro village, as part of community-based conservation initiatives undertaken to reduce dependence on the corridor.
Voluntary relocation of Ram Terang villagers is the most important component of the WTI Project aimed at securing the KD Elephant Corridor.
The 19 households will also be given additional land for agriculture, subsequently, to further minimise their dependence on corridor resources.
"A lucky draw competition was initiated before the construction of the houses, so that villagers can actively participate in the construction phase and take ownership of these houses," said Dilip Deori, Project Lead, WTI.
The "lucky draw" for the villagers took place on Monday.
The exercise was conceptualized with an objective of bringing a strong belonging for the villages towards the relocation process, especially from the start of construction of their new houses.
The process would strengthen the bond among all the 19 families and they would start dreaming of their life in the relocated area.
The Ram Terang village is situated right in the middle of the corridor giving rise to frequent human-elephant conflict with regular loss of crops and property of the villagers, besides human casualties. Elephants, many a time, also lost their lives in retaliation by the victims of their predation.
Securing elephant corridors is a significant component of WTI's Karbi Anglong Conservation Project.
Pradip Singnar in his address mentioned that villagers of Ram Terang were lucky to have been chosen by WTI for relocation and rehabilitation. He added, "It's not only WTI and government's duty to save the elephant, it's also the duty of every individual to come forward so that human-animal co-existence can be achieved." He further exhorted the villagers to maintain hygienic practices in their daily affairs.
"WTI will do everything for the villagers, but it's the duty of villagers also to keep their surroundings clean," he said.
The Ram Terang Village relocation plan will be endorsed by the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) for execution, thereby creating a model of rehabilitation for conservation in Karbi Anglong to be followed at other places in future.
The design for construction of typical Karbi houses is being prepared by the local architect in consultation with the villagers. Once the houses and other amenities are provided at rehabilitation site, the villagers will move in their new dwellings.
A woman villager said, "WTI is doing good work in providing new opportunity for the villagers, but we would be grateful if WTI could also build a prayer house and a school."
The Kalapahar-Doigurung Elephant Corridor is located about 22 kms from Silonijan (Karbi Anglong) on Silonijan-Chokikhola tract, and connects Kalapahar with Doigurung-Nambor Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park.