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Odishatv Bureau

Angul: New Raigoda is the name of the project built on government land near Saruali village under Nuakheta police limits of Angul district to rehabilitate the villagers of Raigoda, located inside the core area of Satkosia Tiger Reserve. The project will also pave way to give natural environs in the core area to a tiger couple from Madhya Pradesh, home away from home.

At New Raigoda, New houses with electricity, water, toilet and other basic amenities have been built for the villagers.

As Odisha government has planned to release a tiger couple in Satkosia, the people living in the 964 square kilometres of land inside the reserve will be evacuated. The administration is taking steps for rehabilitation of the people living in the reserve so that they will not face any problem. Each family will receive Rs 10 lakh, 4 decimal of land and house at par with ones offered under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana.

Even after receiving such facilities, the villagers are worried about their life and livelihood as the tigers will be living nearby. Few of them are also doubtful whether they will get the facilities as promised by the government.

"The tigers if released here will enter our houses. They live in forests, will they not hunt humans? Should we not fear them?," said a displaced villager Draupadi.

"We will not be able to stall the project with protests as the government has already decided. We are ready to leave the place if the government provides adequate compensation," said another villager Nabakishore Bisoi.

"Let it be skill development, banking facilities, improvement of their livelihood, or horticulture training, we are ready to take all responsibilities of the people who will be rehabilitated to the new place," said Angul Collector, Anil Kumar Samal.

Taking into consideration the favourable environmental conditions, Odisha government has decided to get two Royal Bengal tigers – a male and a female – from Madhya Pradesh and release them in Satkosia. The government hopes that growth in tiger population in the reserve will be helpful in maintaining ecological balance.

National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have given the green signal for release of the tigers. While more than Rs 26 crores will be spent in the whole process, the Centre will bear 60 percent of the cost and rest 40 percent will be borne by the State government.

"We have given a proposal for assistance of Rs 26.27 crore. We are taking the steps as per the protocol and it will be further augmented after receiving approval from Madhya Pradesh government and the National Tiger Conservation Authority," said Chief Wildlife Warden Sandeep Tripathy.

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"After the rehabilitation the area will be developed so that it will be favourable for the animals to stay there," said Angul RCCF Sudarsan Panda.

The tigers are scheduled to be brought from Madhya Pradesh by March 2018. As per reports, Global Positioning System (GPS) devices will be attached to the bodies of the tigers to track their movements. Besides, 200 cameras will also be installed in the tiger reserve in the preliminary phase to monitor their activities.

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