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Displacement and Relocation of Protected Areas: A Synthesis and Analysis of Case Studies

Relocation of human populations from the protected areas results in a host of socio-economic impacts. In India, in many cases, especially relating to tribal communities that have been relatively isolated from the outside world, the displacement is traumatic from both economic and cultural points of view. This paper provides brief case studies of displacement (past, ongoing, or proposed) from protected areas, number of villages/families displaced, the place where these villages/families were relocated to, governance of the relocation process, and the kind or nature of relocation (voluntary, induced or forced). It finds that not even a single study shows the ecological costs and benefits of relocation, comparing what happens at the old site to what happens at the rehabilitation site. This is a shocking gap, given that relocation is always justified from the point of view of reducing pressures and securing wildlife habitats.


Displacement and Relocation of Protected Areas: A Synthesis and Analysis of Case Studies

Antoine Lasgorceix, Ashish Kothari

Relocation of human populations from the protected areas results in a host of socio-economic impacts. In India, in many cases, especially relating to tribal communities that have been relatively isolated from the outside world, the displacement is traumatic from both economic and cultural points of view. This paper provides brief case studies of displacement (past, ongoing, or proposed) from protected areas, number of villages/families displaced, the place where these villages/families were relocated to, governance of the relocation process, and the kind or nature of relocation (voluntary, induced or forced). It finds that not even a single study shows the ecological costs and benefits of relocation, comparing what happens at the old site to what happens at the rehabilitation site. This is a shocking gap, given that relocation is always justified from the point of view of reducing pressures and securing wildlife habitats.

We would like to thank Asmita Kabra, Ghazala Shahabuddin, Dilip Gode, Rucha Ghate, Rajiv Bhartari, H S Pabla, Sweta Mishra, Ravi Agarwal, and Milind Wani for their useful comments and inputs which helped us to improve the quality and relevance of this paper.

Antoine Lasgorceix ( has been an intern with Kalpavriksh, an environmental action group based at Pune and Ashish Kothari ( is with Kalpavriksh.

elocation of human populations from within areas notified for wildlife conservation (protected areas or PAs) has been undertaken in several countries, as a means of trying to reduce pressures on wildlife. It is not the aim of this essay to dwell on the ecological and social justifi cation for such relocation. Instead, it attempts to describe and analyse the full range of relocation cases in India in the last few decades, discuss the impacts of these displacements from both environmental and livelihood perspectives, and offer recommendations on the way to enhance the process by which relocation decisions are taken and implemented.1

1 Background
1.1 PAs and Relocation

India’s first modern “protected area” was Hailey National Park created in 1936 by the British colonialists, though there were many reserves declared by rulers before this, and thousands of sites protected by communities for centuries. From a number of about 100 in the early 1970s, when the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WLPA) 1972 was promulgated, India today has 657 PAs (99 n ational parks, 513 wildlife sanctuaries, 41 conservation reserves and four community reserves) (MoEF 2008a). These together cover almost 5% of the country’s land area.

The management of these PAs is based on premises inherited from the western concept of conservation: it requires the exclusio n of subsistence demands and other resource uses, and only centrali sed trained bureaucracies are capable, with no role for local communities and their knowledge (Kothari et al 1995; S aberwal et al 2001). In this paper we do not challenge or accept this world view (there is already a considerably large body of lite rature debating it), but only note its consequences in relation to displacement of people.

Thus, human habitation and uses of natural resources are prohibited or severely restricted within most PAs. There are three to four million people living inside these PAs and several million more in adjacent or nearby areas, whose livelihoods depend on natural resources from these PAs (Kothari et al 1995). These local communities often have unclear or unregistered right to natural resources and lands. Moreover, many d evelopment facilities (access to basic amenities, transport, health and education facilities, land development, etc) do not reach adequately to villages l ocated inside PAs. Hence, local communities inside PAs have varying a ccess to natural resources for survival and livelihoods, but often also live in a state of deprivation, poverty and in confl ict with PA managers, who usually perceive them as being responsible for the loss of wildlife.

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They are also sometimes in conflict with wildlife through crop or livestock damage, or human injury and death on the one hand, and retaliatory killings of animals on the other. Thus voluntary or forced displacement from PAs has long been seen as a solution to these issues.2

1.2 Policy and Legislative Background

There are a few national and state laws, policies or programmes governing or related to displacement of local communities from PAs:

  • Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972: This Act was amended in 1982, 1986, 1991, 2003, and 2006 and provides for the creation of the different categories of PAs, limits the right to live inside PAs (of national park and sanctuary categories), puts restrictions on harvesting of natural products, and establishes a centralised and e xclusive management.
  • Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest-Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006: It provides for the e stablishment of people’s rights within all forest areas including PAs, and for the creation of critical wildlife habitats within PAs, in which people’s rights can be modified or extinguished and people displaced, with their consent.
  • State Level Legislation: Some state level legislation like, the M aharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986, amended in 1999, which deals with resettlement of persons a ffected by development or conservation projects.
  • National Policy on Resettlement and Rehabilitation 2007: The new (2008) centrally-sponsored scheme on PA-related relocation (see paragraph below) specifies that relocation should be “voluntary and in conformity with” the provisions of this national policy.
  • Centrally-Sponsored Schemes: Till 2008, relocation from PAs was funded through the centrally-sponsored benefi ciary oriented scheme for tribal villages of project tiger areas, n ational parks and wildlife sanctuaries, framed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in 1989-90 (Annex 1, p 47). The compensation package of Rs 1,00,000 under this scheme has been increased to Rs 10 lakh (1 million) in the scheme on “Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats”, in the 11th Five-Year Plan (Annex 2, p 47). A s imilar scheme is applicable for tiger reserves (TR).3
  • Judicial Orders: In 2000, an order was passed by the S upreme Court, restraining all state governments from ordering the removal of timber, grasses, etc, from PAs. Though passed in the context of a state government trying to open up timber felling within PAs, the order has been interpreted by the MoEF to mean stoppage of all rights. Directions have gone to all state governments to cease the operation of such rights in all PAs. This has had a s evere impact on the livelihoods of communities living inside PAs, paving the way for forced and induced displacement from within PAs.
  • 1.3 Kinds of Displacement/Relocation

    For the purposes of analysis, we distinguish three kinds of displacement or relocation, depending on the willingness (or lack thereof) of the displaced families to be relocated:

    • Voluntary Displacement: When the concerned communities or families on their own and without situations created by the PA, ask for relocation.


  • Forced Displacement: When the relocation takes place despite opposition or unwillingness from the concerned communities or families.
  • Induced Displacement: When the relocation is sought or a cce pted by the communities or families concerned, due to circum stances created by the PA (by itself or in conjunction with other factors). These circumstances could include severe pressure and harassment by officials, deprivation of natural resources that are essential for their livelihoods, denial of basic developmental facilities, or “sandwiching” between a development project and the PA.
  • The category of “induced” displacement is crucial to understand, for it may be the most common one in recent times, and could get mistaken for “voluntary” displacement. With greater public visibility, mobilisation of communities, and involvement of civil society, it has become politically difficult to forcibly evict communities. Much more common now (either as a deliberate method or as a situation that gets created without any intention) is where communities accept or ask for relocation because life within the PA is very diffi cult.

    Available literature does not necessarily distinguish amongst these three categories. Our attempt to place each of the displacemen t cases below into one of these categories should therefore be treated as provisional, subject to change if the information base changes.

    This paper is mainly based on existing literature. No fresh fieldwork was done for this paper, though field observations by one of the authors (AK) have been used. The judgments expressed in this paper, on the nature and impacts of relocation cases, are also based on the views of the authors of the literature cited. There is a general paucity of independent and systematic documentation or long-term studies on PA-related relocation in India. The paper is, therefore, intended as a first-cut attempt at consolidating available information on relocation.

    Some of the terms used in this paper are subject to varying interpretations. The concepts of “core” and “buffer”, for instance, had no legal basis till recently,4 but were used as an administrative measure. Often the “core” of a TR would be a national park, and the “buffer” would be a sanctuary and reserve forests or other lands. But this is not necessarily the case. The term is used here in the way the original source has used it, and no attempt has been made to make the usage consistent.

    We have also made a mention of the governance of the relocation process. This indicates whether basic factors of good governance, such as participation of affected people, access to relevant information, transparency of decision-making, and so on, were in place. Again, available literature does not necessarily provide adequate information on this, so our assessment should be considered provisional and subject to change.

    2 Status of Relocation
    2.1 Early Relocation

    Before studying the relocation cases that have taken place in I ndia for a few decades, a brief historical review of relocation in India seems relevant (adopted from Rangarajan and Shahabuddin 2006, unless otherwise stated). The first relocation cases date

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    from the pre-independence times. Even during the 19th century, the British made some proposals for relocation of local communities. But the fi rst actual relocation reportedly took place in 1908 from Kaziranga reserve in Assam, when two small villages were removed (and the another three in 1914).5 In 1910, 10 villages in Dachigam in Kashmir were removed from shikar reserves.6 Then, Baigas (an indigenous or tribal people) were displaced by the British from the Banjar Valley Reserve Forest (now the Kanha N ational Park) in Madhya Pradesh. Even when no displacement took place, the British controlled forest and hill communities and limited their customary rights over lands and natural resources. Soon after 1947, there were some displacement cases in the S ariska Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan, in the Gir Forest in G ujarat and in the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. But relocation from PAs really became common during the 1970s, after the passing of the WLPA in 1972, and the launching of Project Tiger in 1973. We will review these post-1972 relocation cases later.

    2.2 Scale of Relocation

    Precise figures on the number of people displaced from PAs are not available (itself an indication of the casual way in which this has been treated by state and central governments). Extrapolating from figures obtained from about 300 PAs in the mid-1980s (Kothari et al 1989), the number could be about 1,00,000. Other observers, however, put the figure at over 6,00,000 (Fernandes and Paranjpye 1997), the basis of which is not clear.

    The Tiger Task Force (2005) estimated that in the case of TR, 80 villages with 2,904 families and a population of 46,341, had been relocated.

    The figures collated in this review, appearing in Annex 3 (posted on the EPW web site along with the text of this paper), suggest a relocation of between 15,000 and 20,000 families. This comes close to the estimate of 1,00,000 (people) stated above. But there could be serious under-reporting, and therefore, the figure may be greater. It is an indication of the general lackadaisical approach of the government to relocation, that no accurate or comprehensive figures exist with either the forest department (FD) or any other government agency.

    It is worth pointing out here that displacement from PAs is a very small percentage of overall displacement of people, with the other causes (especially “development” projects like dams and mining, and processes of urbanisation) leading to far larger numbers. One estimate based on numerous studies, is 60 million (Mathur 2008).

    2.3 Review of Specific Relocation Cases

    We provide brief case studies of displacement (past, ongoing, or proposed) from PAs, with the following information where available: year of displacement/relocation; number of villages/families displaced from this PA; the place where these villages/families were relocated to; governance of the relocation process, the kind or nature of relocation (voluntary, induced or forced). These are arranged statewise.

    The data available at Annex 3 (posted on the EPW web site along with the text of this paper) sums up the main information on relocation cases given in this section.

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    In virtually all cases, the officially stated reasons for displacement were “human pressures” or “human-wildlife confl icts”, so we have not mentioned these in each case. Only where there is a unique or uncommon reason not found universally, have we m entioned it.

    The legal status of the PA and the date(s) of notifi cation are largely taken from Kutty and Kothari (2001).

  • Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Andhra Pradesh (AP): Declared the Nagarjunsagar Wildlife Sanctuary in 1978 and the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam TR in 1982. One village (16 families) was relocated. There is no detailed information on when the relocation took place and whether it was forced, induced or voluntary. There are still 24 villages in the core area and 149 in the overall reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Pakhui-Nameri Sanctuary/National Park and Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh – Assam: Declared Nameri Sanctuary in 1985, intended national park in 1997, and fi nally notified national park in 1998; Camo Sanctuary in 1977, converted to Pakhui Sanctuary in 2002; Nameri was declared a TR in 1999, and Pakhui in 2002. Around 1,000 Taungya7 families are under the process of relocation from the periphery of Nameri.8 There are still eight villages in the overall TR (MoEF 2005).
  • Asola Sanctuary in Delhi: Declared in 1992. Two villages have been relocated, but no further details are available. A third village is slated for relocation in the near future, though the residents are protesting.9
  • Gir National Park, Gujarat: Declared in 1975, this is the only remaining home of the Asiatic Lion. Between 1972 and 1986, 60 Maldhari10 hamlets (580 families) were relocated in 14 forest settlement villages in the buffer zone of the park (Sharma 2003). According to another source,11 between 1973 and 1983, 845 M aldharis families were relocated from this park. As stated by Sharma, it seems that these displacements were forced. Moreover, according to Sharma, this forced displacement was very conflict-ridden due to centralised governance by the FD, some d elays in the payment of compensations and mismanagement. It was believed to be disastrous for the Maldharis, as they were pushed from a pastoralist existence into an agricultural one without any development of skills necessary for this drastic change. Moreover, there are still 54 hamlets in the overall national park and 65 people living in the core zone (Devullu et al 2005).
  • Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve, Karnataka: D eclared a sanctuary in 1931, the Venugopal National Park in 1941, a TR in 1973-74, and fi nally, the Bandipur National Park in 1985. Three villages (417 families) were removed from the core area in the multiple use areas (MUAs) of the park. But there are still 54 villages in the core area and 200 villages adjacent to the park (MoEF 2005).
  • Bhadra Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Karnataka: Declared a sanctuary in 1974 and a TR in 1998. Between 1974 and 2002, 16 villages (736 families) were displaced outside the sanctuary, in Halli and Kelaguru (Kumar 2003). The first relocations were r eportedly forced, but after 2000, the remaining villages were apparently voluntary relocated. As reported by Kumar, between 1974 and 2000, the governance of the relocation process was r eally bad: lack of transparency, very poor communication
  • between the FD and the villagers (they heard about the relocation decision only in 1982) and many conflicts (protests, fi res, demonstrations, petitions). Thus, the villagers resisted the relocation for 26 years. In 2000, the relocation process finally started with fewer conflicts, thanks to a better governance and coordination between the FD, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the villagers. Indeed, there was a better participation of the villagers in the process and an improved relocation package. Thus, the relocation process in Bhadra is considered by some as an example of good governance. There are still five villages in the TR (MoEF 2005).

  • Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka: Though relocation of a number of villages has been proposed for many years, no offi cial process has started due to local opposition and other factors. However, NGOs have negotiated relocation of some families that are deep inside the forest; eight families have been resettled from one settlement (Karanth and Karanth 2007). The process is reported to have been consultative, with each family being p rovided facilities and amenities that they did not have access to earlier.
  • Rajiv Gandhi National Park (or Nagarhole National Park), Karnataka: Declared in 1983. In the early 1990s, about 350 tribal families were displaced by force just outside the park area, without any adequate compensation for the loss of livelihoods from the forests and without any land available for agriculture, which led to some conflicts with officials and considerable opposition to relocation (Nadkarni 2001). According to another source,12 d rinking water facilities at the new site were in some cases not adapted to the needs of the relocated tribals. Between 1999 and 2002, 12 tribal villages13 (250 families) were voluntary relocated in Nagapura (Chakrabarti 2003). The governance of the relocation process was reportedly good, with the formation of tribal committees, transparency, participation of villagers and an a dequate relocation package. According to an offi cial report (MoEF 2006b), 105 other tribal families are to be displaced from the park.
  • Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh (MP): Declared national park in 1968, and TR in 1993-94. One village (Bathan) was relocated in 1972, and reportedly compensation had not been paid to the people evicted even till the early 2000s, due to which many of the remaining villagers are doubtful about moving out (Sawhney 2003; latest situation not clear). Another village (Sanhatola) with eight families was also moved out, it is not clear when it happened.14 There are six villages in the core area and 75 villages in the overall reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Bori-Satpura-Pachmarhi Sanctuary, Satpura National Park and Satpura TR, MP: Declared in 1977 as the Bori and Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuaries. In 1981, Satpura National Park was notifi ed and in 1999, the Bori-Satpura-Pachmarhi TR was created. Also in 1999, Pachmarhi in MP became a biosphere reserve. One village (Dhain) was relocated outside the TR, in the Dobjhirna Forest (Wani and Kothari 2006). According to these authors, the relocation process lacked transparency and participation of the villagers in the process; it also had some basic faults in not making water and cultivable land adequately available immediately on relocation, though subsequently serious attempts have been made to rectify the situation and to provide some livelihood
  • o ptions. There are still six villages located in the national park, and 60 villages in the overall reserve. There was earlier a plan to relocate 50 villages (4,000 families), which is not accepted by the locals (MoEF 2005). Currently, officials are talking of relocating between 13 and 16 villages.15

  • Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve, MP: One of India’s largest PAs, it was declared a national park in three separate segments in 1955, 1964 and 1970, and a TR in 1973-74. At this time, 24 villages (around 650 families) were displaced outside the boundaries of the TR. These villages were reportedly relocated voluntarily. Some villagers resisted at the beginning of the process, but after a better understanding of the relocation package, this resistance dwindled (Panwar 2003). It was most likely the first relocation from a PA after independence. As reported by H S Panwar, the then director of the TR, this relocation was made in a participatory and transparency way; youth and elders of the v illages participated in decision-making and in the implementation of the relocation package. The park officials apparently had only an advisory role. More recent research, however, suggests that there was a significant “discontent and disillusionment following the displacement of the locals leading to an ambiance of latent conflict”, which also showed up in numerous acts of illegal use of resources from within the park, at least some as a deliberate way of expressing resentment (Mukherjee 2009). There are still 19 villages located in the core area and 169 villages in the overall reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, MP: Declared in 1981, and chosen to be the second home of the Asiatic Lion (Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project). Between 1996 and 2002, 24 Sahariya tribal villages (at least 1,400 families) were relocated on the outskirts of the sanctuary, around the Agraa village (Sharma and Kabra 2003). A ccording to Sharma and Kabra these displacements were a mix of induced and forced. Governance of the relocation process r eportedly had several positive elements, including sincerity in the approach, consultation and communication with the communities, and other aspects. However, despite this, e conomic and social impacts on people have been quite severe, including the loss of forest-based livelihoods and decline in a gricultural productivity.
  • Madhav National Park, MP: Declared in 1958. One village (102 families) was voluntary displaced from the park (MoEF 2005). There is no detailed information on when the relocation took place, or of its nature and governance.
  • Panna National Park and TR, MP: Declared in 1975 as a wildlife sanctuary, it became a national park in 1982 and a TR in 1994. Three villages (210 families) were voluntary displaced from the reserve in the 1980s,16 and the relocation of eight other villages is in progress.17 According to one source, there are still 45 villages in the reserve (MoEF 2005); another says there are only fi ve;18 the Project Tiger web site speaks of 15 enclaved villages.19
  • Pench Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park, and TR (MP and M aharashtra): Declared a national park in Maharashtra in 1975, a sanctuary in 1977 and national park in 1983 in MP. Then, in 1992, the park in MP, and in 1998 the park in Maharashtra, became a TR. Between 1973 and 1990, more than 10,000 people were evacuated and resettled (for the usual stated reasons, but
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    some also due to a dam) (Devullu et al 2005). This displacement was conflict-ridden because of mismanagement by FD, evidence of corruption and disagreements between the local communities and the FD. There is still one village in the core area and 100 villages in the TR (MoEF 2005).

  • Sanjay National Park, MP: Declared in 1981. One village was displaced from the park.20 There is no detailed information on when the relocation took place, or of its nature and governance (see also Pench, in Madhya Pradesh above).
  • Melghat Sanctuary and TR, Maharashtra: Declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1967 and a TR in 1973, a part of which was declared the Gugamal National Park in 1987. Between 1999 and 2002, three tribal villages (Bori, Koha and Kund, 92 families) were v oluntary relocated outside the TR near Akot tahsil (Rithe 2003). According to Rithe, the relocation was well-managed and transparent, there was a good communication with the villagers, who formed some committees and participated in the relocation package. However, other reports suggest that some of the provisions included in the relocation package have not been given yet, like full compensation, adequate water facilities, pasture land and community latrin es (Jamwal 2005). Moreover, there are still 19 villages (1,585 familie s) in the sanctuary area, and 58 villages in the overall TR; the former are proposed to be relocated with the declaration of the area as a critical tiger habitat under the Wild Life Amendment Act 2006.
  • Tadoba-Andhari National Park and TR, Maharashtra: First d eclared Tadoba Sanctuary in 1931, upgraded to National Park in 1955; Andhari Sanctuary declared in 1986, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve was formed in 1995. Since 1986, six villages (527 families) have been slated for relocation (which seems induced) outside the TR, in Kaiselghat near Mul. Only two villages out of six have started to be displaced. The governance of the relocation process is repor ted to be poor. According to Bhagwan and Ghate (2003), the villa gers have never been consulted and never participated in the process. Additionally, those relocated had legal title to their lands earlier, but the lands allocated to them have remained “forest” land, and therefore, without legal title.21 A number of non-timber forest produce on which their lives are heavily dependent, are not available at the resettlement site. About 550 hectares of forest with signifi cant flora diversity has been cleared for the resettlement (Mehra 2004). The villages still in the reserve have no rights to natural resources and many of the governmental schemes (health, land development, education, tribal schemes, etc) do not reach them.
  • Dampa Sanctuary and TR, Mizoram: Declared in 1974, and again in 1985 due to a procedural lapse, and declared a TR in 1994.22 Twelve settlements are reported to have been relocated, possibly forcibly and with poor rehabilitation, affecting already marginalised ethnic minorities Chakma and Reang; further details are not available (PEACE et al 2006). Sixty-one villages are still located in the overall reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Phawngpui (Blue Mountain) National Park, Mizoram: N otifi ed in 1997. One village has been relocated in 1993 (Gupta and Sharma 2005), but no further details are available.
  • Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa: Declared in 1982. According to one source (MoEF 2005, citing Project Tiger), three tribal villages (188 families) were voluntarily relocated from Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary after 1984. Other
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    sources, however, give a different picture. In 1994, 85 tribal families were displaced in an induced way from the sanctuary and relocated in Krishnanagar and Tulsadeipur villages (Kothari and Asher 2005). Three hundred and ninety eight other families r efused to be relocated and chose to stay inside the sanctuary. According to these authors, the governance of the relocation process was really bad, without any participation of the tribals and written contract. Moreover, there were serious administrative delays in the process, since the provisions included in the relocation package had not been given to the displaced tribals even a decade later. Sustained pressure by NGOs like Vasundhara has more recently (more than a decade after relocation) led to attention by the state assembly, a visit by the Public Accounts Committee in May 2006, and supply of agricultural land, homestead land titles, and developmental facilities.23

  • Simlipal National Park, TR and and Biosphere Reserve, M izoram: First created as a wildlife sanctuary in 1970, in 1973 it became a TR. Then, the North Simlipal National Park was notified in 1986. Lastly, the area became a biosphere reserve in 1994. Three villages (Jenabil, Bakua and Kabatghai, 72 families) were displaced from the core zone of the reserve (MoEF 2005). There is no precise information on when the relocation took place. A ccording to another official report (MoEF 2006b), this relocation process was a failure because the new land was not suitable for irrigation. There are still villages in the core area and 65 in the overall reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Ranthambore National Park and TR Rajasthan: Declared the Sawai Madhopur Sanctuary in 1955, and a TR in 1973, of which the core was declared the Ranthambore National Park in 1980; the TR includes the Kailadevi Sanctuary (declared 1983) and the Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary (declared 1984). Between 1975 and 1979, 12 Van Gujjars24 villages (195 families) were displaced outside the park, in Kailashpuri and Gopalpura (Devullu et al 2005). There are still four villages in the core area of the park and 25 villages in the overall park (MoEF 2005).
  • Sariska National Park and TR, Rajasthan: Declared a sanctuary in 1959, a TR in 1978-79, and a national park in 1992. In 1980, one village (71 families) was removed by force to avoid confl icts with tigers. The relocation was very ineffective and some villagers even came back to their original settlements within the PA. There are still 24 villages in the core zone of the park and 246 in the buffer zone (MoEF 2005). According to this report, the relocation of 11 villages from the core zone is already planned. This r elocation is proposed specifically to enable the reintroduction of tigers, which were found to have disappeared by 2005. Studies suggest that there is little readiness in the government for a s atisfactory resettlement process, promises of participatory planning are being broken, most people have little idea of the relocation package, and there is likely to be substantial economic loss for villagers if relocated, apart from conflicts with the host p opulations at the proposed resettlement sites (Shahabuddin et al 2005, 2007).
  • Corbett National Park and TR, Uttarakhand: Declared a national park in 1936. It was one of the fi rst PAs to be designated a TR in 1973. Between 1973 and 2001, four villages (411 families) were displaced near Ramnagar and Kashipur, in what appears to be a
  • mix of voluntary and induced factors including serious wildlife related damage and lack of access to development projects (Negi 2003). According to Negi, the relocation process was t ransparent and participative: creation of village committees, meetings between the different villages and good participation of villagers in the relocation package. There are still 25 villages in the overall TR (MoEF 2005), of which relocation of one (Laldhang) is in the fi nal stages, and of another two (Teria and Pandh) is proposed.25

  • Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand: Declared in 1983. At the same time, 1,390 Van Gujjars families were proposed to be displaced outside the park in Pathri and Gaindikhata near Haridwar; this was forcible and encountered substantial opposition (Kaushal 2003; Dasgupta 2003). According to Kaushal, these families were threatened into moving into the resettlement colony. Moreover, as reported by Kaushal and Dasgupta, the gover nance of this forceful resettlement was really bad: coercion, exploitation of the Van Gujjars, oppression by the FD (illegal fines, threats, cases of beating, etc) and no participation in the relocation plan. Forest offi cials are reported to have violated National Human Rights Commission orders safeguarding the rights of the Van Gujjars. Subsequent attempts in a second phase relocation appear to have been better handled, with involvement of NGOs like Friends of Doon.26 Additionally, one Taungya village has been relocated (MoEF 2008b). There remain some Gujjar families, three Taungya villages, and one settlement of Gothiyas, all of which are slated for relocation (ibid). The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife has also recommended the relocation of two revenue villages (with 451 families) that are e nclaved within the park (ibid).
  • Dudhwa National Park and TR in Uttar Pradesh: Declared in 1977 as a national park and a TR in 1987. Twenty-four families from the village Surma were relocated outside the TR. According to an official report (MoEF 2006), “in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, villagers filed a petition against relocation, as court’s order for financial help to villagers for construction of houses was not implemented”. The relocation thus appears to have been forced. There is still one village in the core area and 37 villages in the overall reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Buxa National Park and TR in West Bengal: Declared a TR (out of Reserve Forests) in 1982, notified a sanctuary in 1986, and a national park with initial notification in 1992 and final in 1997. One village (Bhutia Basti, 33 families) was displaced from the park in 1994, near Patkopara tea garden (Khalid 2003). Moreover, as stated by Khalid, voluntary relocation of two other v illages (Bhutri and Bangdoba) is already planned but still not finalised. Bhutia Basti was flooded in 1993, which may be one reason it was relocated. The FD reportedly governed the relocation of Bhutia Basti in a very centralised way. Then, Bangdoba was also flooded in 1998 and 1999, and hence, is waiting for its relocation. There are an additional 89 villages in the tiger reserve (MoEF 2005). A recent report by the comptroller and auditor g eneral has chastised the Buxa authorities for not utilising allocated money for relocation of the other villages (Parshad 2007).
  • According to unpublished data from a survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, there are also some cases of relocation in the following PAs, for which further information is not available to us: Balphakram NP, Meghalaya;27 Barnawapara WLS, Chhattisgarh; Chinnar WLS, Kerala; Hadgarh WLS, Orissa; Kazir an g a NP, Assam; Pakke WLS, Arunachal Pradesh; Sunabeda WLS, Oriss a.

    2.4 Future Relocations?

    Several other national parks and sanctuaries in India continue to have communities living inside. It is likely that there will be proposals for relocation in the following situations: National parks, since the WLPA mandates this; core zones of sanctuaries, though there is no legal necessity to relocate villages in such areas, critical wildlife habitats declared under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest-Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006. Villagers can be relocated from these with their consent. As of late 2008, there are sporadic reports from some states that the government is planning such relocation. However, no

    o fficial proposals have yet been made to the MoEF, as required under the Act’s provisions. TRs, which will now be notifi ed under a new legal category provided for in the Wild Life Amendment Act 2006; under this, critical tiger habitats are to be made “inviolate” though only with local community consent.

    Examples where these conditions may apply include many of the PAs listed above, where villages still exist inside, and some additional ones below:

  • Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in Jharkhand was created as a TR in 1973 and was notified as a wildlife sanctuary in 1976 and as Betla National Park in 1986. More than 200 tribal villages use the reserve as a resource catchment, three villages are still in the core zone of the reserve and 16 are located within MUAs and habitat management zone (Mishra 2003; MoEF 2005).
  • Manas National Park in Assam was declared a TR in 1973. It was notified as a biosphere reserve in 1989 and as a national park in 1990. The village Agrang is still in the core zone of the park, 167 villages are located in the overall tiger reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Valmiki Sanctuary in Bihar was declared in 1978 and became a TR in 1989. No village is in the core area, 20 villages are in the buffer zone and 142 villages (81,000 persons) are located on the fringe of the reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Pin Valley National Park in Himachal Pradesh created in 1987, contains 17 villages (1,600 persons) in the periphery of the park and 17 summer settlements cultivated by Buddhist tribals inside the park.28 Namdapha TR in Arunachal Pradesh was created in 1982. Two villages live within the core area (MoEF 2005).
  • Indravati TR in Chhattisgarh was created in 1982. There are 56 villages in the core area of the reserve (MoEF 2005).
  • Kalakad-Mudumalai TR in Tamil Nadu, declared a sanctuary in 1976, and TR in 1990, contains 15 villages in the core area (10,000 tea workers and 102 Kani tribal families) and 145 hamlets on the fringe area (MoEF 2005).
  • 3 Impacts of Relocation

    We now review the main environmental, socio-economic and other impacts of the displacement of local communities from PAs in India. As far as possible, we do this for both the old and the new sites (before and after relocation). The impacts of each relocation case are detailed in the Annex 3 (posted on the EPW web site along with the text of this paper). Unfortunately, the information is rather incomplete, as we found a very few studies of

    decEMBER 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49

    post-relocation, and almost none that have assessed the situation over a long-term period.

    3.1 Environmental Impacts

    The main expected environmental impact of relocation at the old site is the decrease of human pressures and disturbance. However, there are only a few studies and mostly anecdotal evidence of this. After relocation of 411 families from Corbett TR in Uttarakhand, the tiger population has increased by 52% over the period 1984-2002; and 273 ha of land were restored back to prime tiger habitat (MoEF 2006b), though it is not clear if there may have been a number of other factors involved in these changes such as improved management and increasing resources for the TR. S imilarly, it is reported that the hard-ground subspecies of the Swamp deer or barasingha (Cervus duvaucelii), once down to only 66 in the 1970s, increased to over 400 after relocation of v illages from the Kanha National Park (see swamp-deer-in-kanha-national-park.html; also Panwar 1978). Karanth (2006) reports the recovery of prey and predator populations in areas that have been freed of human presence.

    The other reported impacts at the old site are the decrease of forest fires and human-wildlife conflicts, leading to a better conservation. On the other hand, local people and scholars also point out that relocation sometimes leads to reclamation of grasslands and grassy blanks by the forest, reducing the space for herbivores and grassland birds, and indirectly impacting predators (Rangarajan and Shahabuddin 2006). This then necessitates the use of fire or grass cutting as a management tool, as in Kanha and C orbett Tiger Reserves.

    It is interesting that in many cases the relocation of people has been undertaken or sought under the assumption that it will help sustain the current “natural” features of the landscape, without realising that these features may actually be a result of longstanding human interactions with the resources. This was shown, for instance, in the case of a number of protected areas in the United States, such as those with extensive prairies that were a result of repeated fires lit by the natives (see, for instance, Schama 1995 in the case of Yosemite).

    Indeed, there appear to be very few systematic or long-term studies to show the changes that take place at sites from where villages are relocated. In their absence, the assumption with which relocation is carried out remains, in many or most cases, only an assumption.

    At the new (rehabilitation) site, the main environmental i mpact is the destruction or degradation of natural ecosystems. This is directly due to clearance for cultivation and housing sites, roads, etc, or indirectly due to increased biotic pressure by the relocated human and livestock population. Again, there are very few systematic studies on this aspect. In the case of the relocation of Dhain village from Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, over 30,000 trees were felled to prepare the rehabilitation site, but there is no assessment of the loss of wildlife that this entailed (Wani and Kothari 2006). The relocation of villages from the Tadoba National Park has claimed 550 hectares of biologically diverse forest, in which forest officials and local people have r eported the presence of tiger,

    Economic & Political Weekly

    decEMBER 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49

    leopard, and other wildlife including substantial fl oral diversity (Dilip Gode, VNCS, personal communication 2007; Mehra 2004).

    We could not find a single study of the ecological costs and benefits of relocation, comparing what happens at the old site to what happens at the rehabilitation site. This is a shocking gap, given that relocation is always justified from the point of view of reducing pressures and securing wildlife habitats.

    3.2 Socio-economic Impacts

    Relocation results in a host of socio-economic impacts. In many cases, especially relating to tribal communities that have been relatively isolated from the outside world, the displacement is traumatic from both economic and cultural points of view. From a predominantly non-monetised economy to a money-dominated one, and from relatively isolated cultural existence to one in which other cultures start imposing themselves, the transition is painful. In many cases, free access to survival and livelihood resources such as water, fuel, fodder, medicinal plants, and wild foods, has to be replaced by purchasing these goods in the market, which opens up such communities to serious exploitation.

    In the case of land-based rehabilitation, the quality of the new land is an important factor. Often the new land given is degraded forest land. Fertility of such lands varies from good to very poor, and there could be situations where the land is not even cultivable at the time of the shift (e g, in the case of relocation from R ajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, see Dasgupta 2003; or in the case of New Dhain village resettled from Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, where it took a year after relocation for the land to be fully cleared and readied for cultivation, see Wani and Kothari 2006).

    For communities dependent on livestock, the availability of grazing lands and fodder is crucial. In many cases no provision was made for grazing land or fodder. The loss of livestock in the relocation process is also quite frequent, which can lead to loss of income29 (e g, in the case of relocation from Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, see Dasgupta 2003). But there are also other cases in which pasture development is part of the relocation package (e g, in the case of relocation from Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, see Panwar 2003).

    For communities heavily dependent on non-timber forest produce or aquatic produce at their traditional locations, there is

    o ften a severe loss since the resettlement sites do not have the same kind or level of resources. This impacts both the household economy and in particular aspects like nutrition, as also market economy and in particular earnings from forest produce. In Tadoba, for instance, the sites earmarked for resettlement have far less quantities of species like bamboo, mahua (Madhuca i ndica) and tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), which form a substantial part of the income for villagers at their present prerelocation sites (Bhagwan and Ghate 2003).

    Another essential aspect is the availability of water sources at the new site. In some cases, displaced people have to face serious issues of water scarcity (for both drinking and irrigation). This was the experience in the case of relocation from Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Consequently, agriculture and h orticulture are sometimes impossible at the new site, leading to loss of food security and income. But in other cases, the relocation package includes provisions like drinking water and irrigation facilities (e g, in the case of relocation from Melghat PA in Maharashtra, see Rithe 2003).

    Equity (or inequity) in distribution of land and compensation during the relocation process is another crucial factor. In some cases, the allocation of land is very equitable (“land for land”) and land is provided to landless too (e g, in the case of relocation from Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, see Panwar 2003). But in other cases people can obtain a cultivable land smaller than their land at the old site, leading to rivalry between families and loss of income from agriculture. Often, the landless may r eceive very little or nothing (this is perhaps especially so for the very early relocations).

    Some relocation packages provide land and agriculture development schemes, which can improve the livelihoods of the displaced families (e g, in the case of Bhadra Sanctuary, see Karanth and Karanth 2007).

    Some families can also have no access to landownership or land titles in the relocation process (e g, in the case of relocation from Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, see Dasgupta 2003). This is particularly problematic where land legally classified as forest is given for relocation, and its legal status is not changed, exposing the relocated population to future uncertainties created by legislation related to forests (e g, in the case of Tadoba- Andhari Tiger Reserve, Rucha Ghate, Shodh, personal communication, 2007).

    In some relocation cases there is a drastic change in occupation, with little time for the displaced communities to adjust and learn new skills. For instance, in the case of Maldharis from Gir National Park (Gujarat) (Sharma 2003), pastoralists were forced to shift to settled agriculture at the new site. Most families did not know how to make this transition, and it took years for people to settle down.

    In some cases (e g, New Dhain village relocated from Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, see Wani and Kothari 2006), houses at the new site are constructed by or with the families themselves, leading to a more satisfactory outcome.

    Some communities who did not have access to local and central development schemes at the old site inside the PA (because of remoteness and the inability of government services to reach there), can get funds from these schemes after relocation (e g, in the case of relocation from Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, see Rithe 2003).

    Some relocation packages provide access to existing or new e ducation, electricity, transport and health facilities at the new site (e g, in the cases of relocation from Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, though with the usual ineffi ciencies plaguing r ural development departments in general, see Sharma and Kabra 2003 and Chouhan 2003; and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka, see Kumar 2003 and Karanth 2005), which can change the lives of the displaced families. Moreover, transport facilities allow a better access to markets and developed towns around the new site.

    Lastly, relocation of villages can lead to socio-economic confl icts with the locals at the new site (as is the case with the New Dhain relocated village vis-à-vis the existing Doobjhirna village, outside the Satpura Tiger Reserve, see Wani and Kothari 2006). Indeed, the land chosen for resettlement is sometimes already used by some people living in the surrounding areas. So the displaced families can be in conflict with the locals for access to natural resources and income generation at the new site. It can even lead to physical clashes in some cases.

    There seems to be no gender-differentiated impact assessment of relocation from PAs. Given the much greater day to day d ependence of women on natural resources, and their greater vulnerability to socio-economic changes, it can be assumed that displacement has greater and special impacts on them compared to men. However, this aspect needs further study.

    Having to suddenly live in another cultural environment, with other values and references, can be traumatic. They are expected to forget their old culturally important sites and beliefs (including sacred natural places), and a common question asked by them is: “we can move, but how will our gods move?”. They also have to adapt themselves to new cultural concepts (law, fi nance, state, development, etc). There could also be serious psychological i mpacts, given that many families lead a very uncertain life for at least some time after the relocation. There appear to be no studies on these aspects in relation to relocation from PAs.

    3.3 Other Impacts

    When local communities are displaced from PAs by force or through inducement, or when the relocation package is not adapted to their livelihood needs, there are almost always confl ic ts between FD offi cials or PA authorities and local communities. But even after relocation takes place, the relationships between the displaced families and the authorities can remain tense. Often, when local communities are forced or induced to be relocated, or when the relocation package is not adapted to their livelihood needs, they try to come back at the old site or go back to their old economic activities. Thus, there are often confl icts o ccurring between them and PA authorities during and after such relocation processes.

    4 Conclusions and Recommendations

    In this article, 28 cases of displacement from PAs all over India were reviewed. These cases were from the 1970s onwards, involving between 15,000 and 20,000 families (see Annex 3, posted on the EPW web site along with the text of this paper). But this review may be incomplete and these figures are likely to be u nderestimates. The quality of relocation is widely varying, with a majority being forcible or induced, and a very large number b eing non-transparent, conflictual, mismanaged and nonparticipatory. In a few cases, the governance and outcomes of the relocation process were reportedly good. Unfortunately, information on the ecological and socio-economic (including cultural) impacts of relocation is scarce. Many stated impacts are based on assumptions rather than on systematic assessments.

    We list below some recommendations that would improve the process of deciding about whether relocation is necessary, and about the actual relocation processes and packages.30

    First, there is an urgent need to build a national database on past and ongoing relocation from PAs, including the scale, and the ecological and socio-economic impacts (including genderdifferentiated effects).

    There is a need for a process based on clear and comprehensive knowledge (traditional and modern), and based on the participation

    decEMBER 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49

    of all concerned, that determines where and how much relocation is necessary. It should be noted that this is now required for TRs under the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act 2006, and for all PAs under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

    Much greater transparency and participation of the concerned families in relocation processes is needed. A full discussion should be facilitated or encouraged in the gram sabha or village assembly, along with the creation and involvement of village committees. The concerned families should be aware of the conservation imperatives that require relocation. During these meetings, they could choose whether they prefer to be relocated outside the PA with a suitable package (relocation scenario), or to go on living inside the PA with rights over land and natural resources, but also with conservation related restrictions (coexistence scenario). Special attention needs to be given to marginalised sections of society, including women.

    If the concerned families choose the relocation scenario, offi cials should show to the village committee a range of potential new sites for resettlement. Some ecological and socio-economic impacts assessment should have been done beforehand. These would include an assessment of the wildlife/biodiversity impacts of relocation at the old and new sites, the potential for land development and provision of drinking water and irrigation facilities, potential for livelihood generation at the new site, potential access to markets, transport, energy, education and health facilities, potential for social conflict with existing villages at the new site, and so on. A choice of two to three appropriate sites (where these impact assessments are positive) should be proposed to and visited by the communities concerned. At the end, these committees could choose one of these potential sites.

    Subsequent to the above actions, an agreement should be signed between officials and the villages committees. All the provisions given in the relocation package should be detailed in this agreement. Moreover, the timeline for resettlement and other relevant conditions should also be included. This formal agreement would help to institutionalise the relocation process, reduce arbitrary actions, and avoid potential misunderstandings on the given provision s.

    The new site and the provisions given in the relocation package should be prepared before the relocation physically takes place. This means that the land would be cultivable, water would be available, and there would be access to basic livelihood and developmental facilities (including basic health, energy, and educational options). Some aspects like housing could be completed as the relocation is taking place, since people often want to determine the kind of houses they want. They should also immediately have access to alternative employment opportunities to compensate the loss of income caused by the relocation.

    The relocation process is only one step, it needs to be followed up by a longer-term rehabilitation process. This is especially to enable the community, and in particular the disprivileged and weaker amongst them, to adopt to the new site, to face the trauma of displacement, and to secure a long-term livelihood option. In most past relocation processes, this aspect has been especially missing.

    Finally, there needs to be a transparent, participatory monitoring and assessment process. This could alert relevant agencies to problems in the rehabilitation process, and provide indicators for corrective measures to be built in. Ideally this should be done by an agency independent of both the official agencies involved in relocation and the communities themselves.

    The steps outlined above would greatly improve the relocation scenario in India. But as we noticed above, local communities could also choose an alternative scenario (“coexistence” or “integrated conservation and livelihood”) in which they would go on living inside the PA with rights over land and natural resources to secure their livelihoods, and a role in decision-making, but also with restrictions on resource use for the purpose of conservation. Existing schemes for “ecodevelopment” aim to partially achieve this, at least as far as alternative livelihood sources are concerned. But the initiatives need to go beyond this into joint or collaborative management, and the recognition of people’s own role in conservation. The recent (2006) amendment to the Wild Life (Protection) Act, and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 have both opened up some possibilities towards this.31 However, in this paper we are not going into the coexistence issue.

    Some community-based initiatives reconciling livelihood security and biodiversity conservation in rich biodiversity sites can also be alternative scenarios to relocation. These sites, called community conserved areas (CCAs), are traditional, sacred or even recent sites where local communities have decided to conserve their local biodiversity in order to secure their livelihoods or because of political, cultural, spiritual, or ethical reasons. This category of conservation sites has been internationally recognised since 2003 as a powerful tool to conserve wildlife and biodiversity, reduce poverty, and secure livelihoods of local communities.32 There are thousands of CCAs in India. But the recognition of CCAs in India has been very slow and these sites are not yet centrally or appropriately integrated into wildlife laws and policies (Pathak et al 2006; Pathak 2009).


    1 A data table summing up the information on r elocation cases is posted on the EPW web site along with this article.

    2 It should be noted that many international agencies including bilateral and multilateral donors have adopted a wider defi nition of displacement, to include not only physical eviction, but also denial of access to survival and livelihood resources (Cernea 2006). In this paper, while we acknowledge the validity of this wider defi nition, we have restricted the scope of the term displacement to physical eviction.

    Economic & Political Weekly decEMBER 5, 2009

    3 See 8
    relocation_plan_pt.pdf 9 Ravi Agarwal, Toxics Link, personal communi
    4 In 2006, these terms were introduced into the cation 2007.
    Wild Life (Protection) Act in relation to TR. 10 Maldharis are traditional pastoralists depending
    5 Data reported by Assam Forest Department as part almost completely on livestock related livelihoods
    of a survey of wildlife protected areas in I ndia, car linked to the forests.
    ried out by Indian Institute of Public A dministration 11 JPAM Update, No 10, 1996.
    and Centre for Equity Studies (CES 2003). 12 PA Update, Nos 27 and 28, 2000.
    6 It is ironic that the Dachigam National Park, now 13 Karanth and Karanth (2007) put the number of
    Kashmir’s most famous PA, still retains the name villages at nine; they also state that this phase of
    meaning “10 villages”. relocation was better handled.
    7 Communities settled inside forests in the past by 14 H S Pabla, MP forest department, personal com
    the government, for forestry work. munication, 2007.
    vol xliv no 49 45

    15 Chief wildlife warden, Madhya Pradesh, personal communication, 2006.


    17, a ccessed 2007.

    18 H S Pabla, MP forest department, personal communication, 2007.


    20, a ccessed 2007.

    21 Rucha Ghate, Shodh, personal communication, 2007.

    22 Project Tiger web site.

    23 Sweta Mishra, Vasundhara, personal communication, 2007.

    24 The Van Gujjars are a nomadic pastoral community living in northern India.

    25 Rajiv Bhartari, Uttarakhand FD personal communication, 2007.

    26 JPAM Update No 18, October 1998.

    27 The situation here is not very clear, this may be more a case of people selling their lands and moving out, then of displacement caused by acquisition of land.


    29 E g, in the case of relocation from Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, see Dasgupta 2003.

    30 Readers may also see a set of recommendations on relocation contained in the note on “Proposed Guidelines on Identfication of Critical Tiger Habitats, Coexistence, and Relocation in Relation to Tiger Reserves (In Pursuance of the WLPA as Amended in 2006)”, by the Future of Conservation network (see html or

    31 See “Proposed Guidelines on Identfi cation of C ritical Tiger Habitats, Coexistence, and Relocation in Relation to Tiger Reserves (In Pursuance of the WLPA as Amended in 2006)” and “Proposed Guidelines on Identification of Critical Wildlife Habitats in National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries Under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006”, both by the Future of Conservation network (see cwh.html or

    32 See a number of documents at


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    vol xliv no 49

    Annex 1 Provisions of the Centrally-Sponsored Beneficiary-Oriented Tribal Development Scheme, for Project Tiger Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries Rehabilitation Package under the BOTD Scheme

    Expenditure Heads Specified Norms (Rs per family)
    Land development (for 2 hectares per family) 36,000
    House construction (on 5,000 sq ft of land per family) 36,000
    Community facilities 9,000
    Fuel and fodder plantation 8,000
    Pasture development 8,000
    Transport of household goods 1,000
    Cash incentive for shifting 1,000
    Miscellaneous expenses 1,000
    Total 1,00,000

    Details of Funds Released under BOTD (Rs in Lakh)

    Year Madhya Pradesh Karnataka Maharashtra Orissa Rajasthan Uttaranchal
    1997-98 45.00 25.00 40.00
    1998-99 350.00
    1999-2000 201.08 68.50
    2000-01 200.00 64.65 46.00
    2001-02 300.00 100.00
    2002-03 210.00 300.00 400.00 145.92
    2003-04 374.00 283.00 81.00
    2004-05 150.00
    2005-06 175 77.00 17.00 80.00 110.20
    2006-07 230 58.80

    (In the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, this scheme has been merged into the scheme on Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats, see Annex 2). Source: Information provided by the then Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Namo Narain Meena, in a written reply to a question by Vijay J Darda and Syeda Anwara Taimur in the Rajya

    Sabha. Reported in:“Relocation of Existing Habitations”, Press Release, MoEF, 16 March 2007.

    Annex 2: Details of the Activities to be Supported under the Centrally-Sponsored Scheme – Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats

    (Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Ministry of Environment and Forests 2008)

    Determining inviolate spaces and relocation of villages from core-critical/crucial wildlife habitats: The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as well as the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, require that right of people (scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers) recognised in forest areas within core-critical habitats may be modified or resettled for providing inviolate spaces to wild animals. This requires payment of compensation (rights settlement in addition the relocation package offered under the CSS). Therefore, payment of compensation for the immovable property of people forms part of modifying setting their rights, which is a statutory requirement. This is independent of the rehabilitation package given for village relocation from Tiger Reserves under the Scheme “Project Tiger”. The proposed package (in consonance with the proposal under the CSS – Project Tiger) has two options: Option I – Payment of the entire package amount to the family in case the family opts so, without involving any rehabilitation/relocation process by the Forest Department. Option II – Carrying out relocation/rehabilitation of village from Protected Area/Tiger Reserve by the Forest Department.

  • (i) In case of Option I, a monitoring process involving the district magistrate of concerned district(s) would be ensured so that the villagers rehabilitate themselves with the package money provided to them.
  • (ii) In case of Option II, the following package (per family) is proposed, at the rate of Rs 10 lakh per family:
  • (a) Agriculture land procurement (two hectare) and development 35% of the total package.
  • (b) Settlement of rights 30% of the total package.
  • (c) Homestead land and house construction 20% of the total package.
  • (d) Incentive 5% of the total package.
  • Economic & Political Weekly

    decEMBER 5, 2009

    (e) Community facilities commuted by the family (access road, irrigation, drinking water, sanitation, electricity, telecommunication, community centre, religious places of worship, burial/cremation ground) 10% of the total package.

    (iii) The relocation process would be monitored/ implemented by the following two c ommittees: (State-level Monitoring Committee consisting of chief secretary of the state as the chairman, secrearies of related departments as m embers and chief wildlife warden as member secretary.) (District-level Implementing Committee for ensuring convergence of other sectors consisting of district collector as chairman, CEO as the member and representative officials from: public works department, social welfare, tribal department, health department, agriculture department, education department, power and irrigation departments as members. The warden/ manager of the PA/crucial wildlife habitat is the member secretary.

  • (iv) The above cost norms are indicative in nature to facilitate flexibility for state/site s pecifi c situation.
  • (v) The relocated village would be taken up on a priority basis for eco-development as well as local development through convergence of district-level schemes.
  • (vi) The labour-oriented works involved in the relocation process would be preferably implemented through the villagers who are being relocated, so that they derive benefits out of the same apart from ensuring the fi eld implementation to their satisfaction.
  • (vii) In case resettlement has been done on a forestland, the new settlement will be eligible for access to forest resources for their bonafi de use through the village level committee and gram sabhas.

    (viii) The district administration would facilitate fair price shop, education, and health centre close to the relocated site.

  • (ix) “Handholding” after relocation would be ensured through independent agency with ongoing eco-developmental inputs through central assistance and district-level inputs, which should also have an inbuilt grievance redressal system.
  • (x) The relocated villagers would be given priority for livelihood options emanating from the protected area.
  • vol xliv no 49

    (xi) In case the cost of relocation including settlement of rights per family exceeds Rs 10.00 lakh, the state government has to meet the e xtra cost.

    (xii) The state/union territory governments shall, wherever appropriate, consult / collaborate/ involve the concerned panchayati raj i nstitutions, while planning, formulating and implementing the relocation processes. The activities envisaged include determination of inviolate spaces, critical wildlife habitats, voluntary relocation of villages from PAs/selected high value biodiversity areas/recovery programmes by providing a better relocation package, apart from supporting the state governments for settlement of rights of such people. It also includes acquisition and/purchase of land and wildlife corridors, rehabilitation of traditional hunting tribes living in and around PAs/selected high value biodiversity areas/recovery programmes. Further, as relocation involves largely the f orest dwelling rural poor, it should be e nsured that any relocation/resettlement is voluntary and in conformity with the p rovisions of the National Policy on Rese ttlement and Rehabilitation for project affected f amilies. The proposal of relocation should be e xamined only when express willingness of the villagers is obtained, preparation for a ctual implementation is c ompleted and the work can be started. The allocation earmarked for relocation should not be used for any

    o ther purpose. Norms for reallocation should c learly specify the components for which p ayment will be made to the people opting out of the identified location. Further, as per the provisions of the Tribal Act, there is a p rovision to identify Critical Wildlife Habitats. A committee is also envisaged in furtherance of this objective. It is proposed that this committee looks into the appraisal and a pproval of relocation proposals on a case- to-case basis. However, if need arises, a separate committee can be constituted for this as well. (A scheme for relocation of villages from tiger reserves is substantially the same as this one, see relocation_plan_pt.pdf).


    Annex 3: Environmental and Socio-economic Impacts of Relocation from Protected Areas in India, since the 1970s

    (As reported in the sources of information given in the last column; PAs are arranged in alphabetical order)

    Name of Year of Year of Number of Officially Governance Nature of the Environmental Socio- Sources of
    the PA Notification* Relocation Persons, Families Stated of Relocation Relocation Impacts of economic Information
    or Villages Causes of Process Relocation Impacts of
    Displaced Relocation** (see Section 1.3) Relocation
    Asola Sanctuary, 1992 No Two villages No No No No Ravi Agarwal,
    Delhi information information information information information Toxics Link, personal
    Bandhavgarh NP in 1968 1972 Two villages No No No In the case of one Sawhney 2003
    National Park and TR in 1993-94 (one, Sanhatola, information information information village (Bathan), H S Pabla, MP
    Tiger Reserve, with eight families) no compensation
    Forest Department,
    Madhya Pradesh paid till early 2000s personal
    (latest status not communication,
    known) 2007
    No information on
    other village
    Bandipur National WLS in 1931 Since 1974 Three villages No No - At the old site: No MoEF, 2006b
    Park and Tiger Venugopal (417 families) information information increase of the information MoEF, 2005
    Reserve, Karnataka NP in 1941 tiger population
    TR in 1973-74 by 55%.
    NP in 1985 - At the new site:
    No information.
    Bhadra Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Karnataka WLS in 1974 TR in 1998 1974-2002 16 villages (736 families) 11 villages (419 HH, 4,000 people) relocated by 2007 Lack of Initially transparency, forced very poor and voluntary communication, after 2000 many conflicts, resistance during first 26 years. - At the old site: - Equity in land Karanth, 2005 forest fires distribution, Kumar, 2003 controlled, emphasis given Karanth and decrease in to landless and Karanth 2007 poaching and marginal farmers. better - Bank accounts conservation provided. of wildlife in - More fertile soils,
    the TR. no free access to
    After 2000, better governance. - At the new site: forest products, No information drinking water facilities provided, land development and diversification
    of crop production (hence more harvests per year). No free access to
    forest products. - Transport, electricity and education facilities
    provided. -Opening of
    Bori-Satpura Sanctuary, National Park and Tiger Reserve and Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, Madhya Pradesh (MP) Bori and Pachmarhi WLSs in 1977 Satpura NP in 1981 Bori-Satpura- Pachmarhi TR in 1999 Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve in Since 2000 One village (97 families) Lack of Voluntary transparency and participation shops,etc. - At the old site: - Five acres of land Wani and Kothari, No information. given per family. 2006 - Construction of - At the new site: houses with the MoEF, 2005 Clearing of forest participation of with over 30,000 the villagers. - In first year, scarcity of water, irrigationproblems, land no prepared. - Fuel and
    1999 fodder available.
    -Some alternative
    employment opportunities provided. - Conflicts with existing village on natural
    resources access.
    - Access to markets and
    health facilities provided. - Bad condition of roads.
    - Forced shift to settled

    Economic & Political Weekly

    December 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49

    Annex 3: (Continued)
    Name of the PA Year of Notification* Year of Relocation Number of Persons, Families or Villages Displaced Officially Stated Causes of Relocation** Governance of Relocation Nature of the Relocation Process (see Section 1.3) Environmental Impacts of Relocation Socio-economic Impacts of Relocation Sources of Information
    Buxa National Park and Tiger Reserve, West Bengal TR in 1982 WLS in 1986 NP in 1992 (initial) and 1997 (final) Since 1994 One village (33 families) already displaced and 2 villages to be relocated Floods, isolation, Centralised and scarcity process of water Forced for the first - At the old site: -Lack of privacy, village and tiger population disturbances voluntary for the has doubled over from tea gardens two others the period and conflicts 1984-2002. with locals. - At the new site: - Physical and No information. emotional problems due to a bad Khalid, 2003 MoEF, 2006b
    adaptation to the natural and cultural
    environment of
    the new site.
    -Some villagers moved back to the
    old site.
    Chandaka-Dampara 1982 Since 1984 Between 85 Administrative Voluntary - At the old site: - No access to MoEF, 2005
    Wildlife Sanctuary, and 188 delays, no (MoEF 2005) No information governmental Kothari and Asher, 2005
    Orissa families, participation in Induced - At the new site: schemes for Sweta Mishra
    according to the relocation (Asher and No information decade after (Vasundhara),
    different plan Kothari 2005) relocation. Personal
    sources -Water scarcity, communication
    poor soil fertility, 2007
    illegal collecting
    of firewood
    within the
    sanctuary area.
    -Conflicts with
    villages over
    scarce resources.
    - No land and
    house plot titles
    for decade after
    -Strained relations
    between the
    families which
    were relocated
    and those which
    stayed inside the
    Corbett National NP in 1936 1973-2001 Five villages, No access to Transparency Voluntary/ - At the old - Fair distribution Negi 2003
    Park and Tiger TR in 1973 (first batch), of which development and induced site: in of land. MoEF, 2006b
    Reserve, Uttarakhand and currently four villages projects inside participation tiger population - Cattle pond. Rajiv Bhartari, Forest
    ongoing (411 families) reserve of villagers by 52% over the - Better access to Department, personal
    (second in first batch (creation of period 1984-2002 markets and to communication 2007
    batch) village and 273 ha of developed towns
    committees) to land restored (Ramnagar and
    the relocation back as prime Kashipur), transport
    package tiger habitat in facilities provided.
    the reserve. - More fertile soils,
    - At the new site: drinking water and
    clearing of irrigation facilities
    221.63 ha of provided.
    forest land
    Dampa Sanctuary WLS in 1974 No 12 settlements No information Poor Possibly forced - At the old site: Poor rehabilitation, AC Zonunmawia,
    and Tiger Reserve, and again information Regeneration of further marginali- personal
    Mizoram in 1985 forests in shifting sing and alienating communication, 2007
    TR in 1994 cultivation sites. ethnic minority PEACE et al 2006
    - At the new site: Chakma and Gupta and Sharma
    Increased Reang people 2005
    pressure and
    intensity of jhum
    in adjacent areas
    Dudhwa National Park NP in 1977 Since 1987 One village No information Forced No information No information MoEF, 2006b
    and Tiger Reserve, TR in 1987 (24 families) MoEF, 2005
    Uttar Pradesh


    December 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49

    Economic & Political Weekly

    Annex 3: (Continued) Name of Year of the PA Notification* Gir 1975 National Park, Gujarat Year of Relocation 1972-86 Number of Officially Persons, Families Stated or Villages Causes of Displaced Relocation** 60 hamlets No access to (580 families) development projects inside NP Governance Nature of the of Relocation Relocation Process (see Section 1.3) Centralised Forced process, mis-management, administrative and compen- sation delays, conflicts with the FD Environmental Socio-Sources of Impacts of economic Information Relocation Impacts of Relocation - At the old site: - Land given to Sharma 2003 Increase in cultivators, land wildlife popu-development and lation in the park. forest settlement But less water schemes by the source for the FD. But no right and wildlife (which control over land and used to use the natural resources. human-made - Conflicts with FD sources before). officials. - At the new site: - No education clearing of facilities provided. 1,867 ha of forest - Forced shift from land. pastoralism to agriculture.
    Kanha National Park NP in 1955, 1973-74 24 villages Transparency Seven in a - At the old site: - Equity in land Panwar, 1978
    and Tiger Reserve, 1964 and 1970 (around 650 and voluntary way increase in the distribution (land for Panwar, 2003
    Madhya Pradesh TR in 1973-74 families) participation of and 17 in an tiger population land), land provided
    villagers in the induced way over 1984-2002; to landless.
    relocation increase in - More fertile soils, MoEF, 2006b
    package Swamp grazing facilities, help Mukherjee, 2009
    deer population provided in pasture
    - At the new site: development and
    No information. animal husbandry,
    wells and irrigation
    -Paid construction
    of traditional houses.
    - Health and education
    facilities provided.
    -Significant discontent
    and resentment,
    expressed as
    deliberate illegal acts.
    Kudremukh National 1987 2003- One settlement Classified as NGO-led No No No Karanth and Karanth
    Park, Karnataka ongoing (eight families) ”encroachers” process, information information information 2007
    Kuno Wildlife 1981 1996-2002 24 villages No Induced and - At the old site: - Equity in land Chouhan, 2003
    Sanctuary, (at least 1,400 participation, forced ecological distribution.
    Madhya Pradesh families) poor restoration - Loss of cattle. Sharma and Kabra,
    communication conducive to lion - Loss of income from in press
    and admini- relocation. reduced access to
    strative errors - At the new site: forest products. Sharma and Kabra,
    clearing of - Decrease of 2003
    5,000 ha crop yields.
    of protected - Increase of
    forest land migrations.
    - Decrease of wage
    labour opportunities
    provided by the FD.
    - Poor quality of soils,
    drinking water
    facilities provided
    but scarcity of water,
    irrigation facilities
    provided but mainly
    source of fodder.
    - Access to police
    communication and
    electricity facilities,
    though inefficient.
    -Decline in
    livelihood security.
    - After 2004, at least
    300 families moved
    back to the old site,
    but then most were
    moved back out again.
    Economic & Political Weekly December 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49 3
    Annex 3: (Continued)
    Name of Year of Year of Number of Officially Governance Nature of the Environmental Socio- Sources of
    the PA Notification* Relocation Persons, Families Stated of Relocation Relocation Impacts of economic Information
    or Villages Causes of Process Relocation Impacts of
    Displaced Relocation** (see Section 1.3) Relocation
    Madhav National 1958 No One village No No Voluntary No No MoEF 2005
    Park, Madhya Pradesh information (102 families) information information information. information.
    Melghat Sanctuary, Melghat WLS 1999-2002 Three villages Conflicts with Transparency, Voluntary - At the old site: - Education, transport, Rithe, 2003
    Gugamal National, in 1967 (92 families) TR authorities good commu- decrease in the health facilities MoEF, 2006b
    and Melghat Tiger TR in 1973 nication and total population provided.
    Reserve, Gugamal participation of tigers in the - Promised Jamwal, 2005
    Maharashtra NP (part of TR) of villagers to reserve from 80 community latrines
    in 1987 the relocation in 1984 to 73 in not provided yet.
    plan (creation 2001-02. - No pasture land.
    of village However, less - No full money
    committees) human pressures compensation
    on the provided.
    biodiversity. - Access to drinking
    - At the new site: water and irrigation
    clearing of 95 ha facilities promised
    of forest land. but not provided
    on time.
    - Access to funds
    from rural develop
    ment schemes.
    Nagarjunsagar- Nagarjunsagar No One village No No No No MoEF, 2005
    Srisailam Sanctuary WLS in 1978 information (167 families) information information information. information.
    and Tiger Reserve, Nagarjunsagar-
    Andhra Pradesh Srisailam TR in
    Pakhui-Nameri Nameri WLS in Since 2000 1,000 families No No No No http://projecttiger.nic.
    Sanctuary, National 1985, NP (from Nameri) information information information. information. in/nameri.htm
    Park and Tiger in 1998
    Reserve, Assam and Camo WLS in
    Arunachal Pradesh 1977, converted
    to Pakhui WLS
    in 2002
    Nameri TR in
    1999,Pakhui TR
    in 2002
    Panna National Park WLS in 1975 1980s Three villages No Voluntary No No http://www.forest.
    and Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh NP in 1982 TR in 1994 (210 families) and eight villages information information. information., accessed 2007
    in the process http://projecttiger.nic.
    Pench Wildlife Mah: 1973-90 of relocation 10,000 persons Dam Corruption, No - At the old site: - Financial compen- in/panna.htm Devullu et al 2005
    Sanctuary, National NP in 1975, construction mis-manage information No information. sation for landless.
    Park and Tiger Reserve, Madhya TR in 1998 MP: WLS in ment and conflicts with - At the new site: No information. - No compensation for some families.
    Pradesh 1977, NP in the FD -Water scarcity, a few
    1983,and TR in 1992 working biogas plants provided, big
    restrictions on forest
    products and irregular irrigation facilities
    Phawn-gpui National Park, Mizoram Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand 1997 1983 1993 1983-onwards One village No information 1390 Van Gothiya village Gujjars families reportedly 1 Taungya illegal, did not village (three accept more proposed) settlement 1 Gothiya compensation village (236 families) No No information information Oppression, Forced or threats, violence, induced conflicts with the FD and no participation to the relocation plan, in the first phase. More participa- tory in second phase, ongoing. No information - At the old site: better conserva- tion of wildlife in the PA. - At the new site: No information (forest land cleared for relocation) No information Gupta and Sharma 2005 - No toilet and bad Dasgupta, 2003 roofs in the new houses provided. Kaushal 2003 - No land or land title for some families. JPAM Update 18 - Prohibition of cattle, October 1998 loss of livestock, new MoEF 2008b site unsuitable for agriculture (bad quality of land). - Conflicts with FD officials. -No governmental schemes provided. - Better in more recent relocation
    4 December 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49 Economic & Political Weekly
    Annex 3: (Continued)
    Name of Year of Year of Number of Officially Governance Nature of the Environmental Socio- Sources of SPECIAL ARTICLE
    the PA Notification* Relocation Persons, Families Stated of Relocation Relocation Impacts of economic Information
    or Villages Causes of Process Relocation Impacts of
    Displaced Relocation** (see Section 1.3) Relocation
    Rajiv Gandhi National 1983 Since 1999 12 villages Poverty due to Transparency Voluntary. - At the old site: - Access to agri- Chakrabarti, 2003
    Park, Karnataka (Chakrabarti isolation and good In some better conservat- culture machines.
    2003)/9 villages participation cases, ion of wildlife. - Health, education, MoEF, 2006a
    (Karanth and (creation of forced, with - At the new site: transport and
    Karanth 2007) tribal considerable clearing of 1931 electricity facilities Nadkarni, 2001
    (250 families) committees) in opposition to the ha of forest land, provided.
    3,500 families the recent process. drinking water - Alternative income PA Update
    earlier; and 105 relocation plan. facilities provided, generation. N°27 and 28.
    more others In earlier and supply of cattle, - Training and
    proposed by some recent pasture and fod- capacity building.
    the end of 2007 cases, bad der plantations - Fuel saving devices Karanth and
    relocation provided, access provided. Karanth 2007
    package and to fuel wood - Better levels
    conflicts. reserves, land and of livelihoods.
    poultry develop
    ment. In some
    cases,no adequate
    financial compen
    sation,land and
    drinking water
    Ranthambore Sawai 1975-\79 12 Gujjars No No - At the old site: - Forced shift from MoEF, 2005
    National Park and Madhopur villages information information No information. animal husbandry Devullu et al, 2005
    Tiger Reserve, WLS in 1955 (195 families) - At the new site: to settled
    Rajasthan TR in 1973 No information. agriculture.
    (includes - Poor quality of
    Kailadevi WLS, land, scarcity of
    declared in fodder and
    1983,and drinking water,
    Sawai Mansingh livestock affected.
    WLS, declared - Severe deterioration
    in 1984) of economic
    NP in 1980 conditions.
    - Conflicts with park authorities.
    Sanjay National Park, Madhya Pradesh 1981 No information One village No information No information No information No information. No information. http://www.forest. html,accessed 2007
    Sariska National Park and Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan WLS in 1959 TR in 1978-79 NP in 1992 1980 One village already displaced (71 families) and 11 to be Ineffective process in first relocation, several families returned to Forced No information. No information. Poor land and livelihood availability; conflicts with host MoEF, 2005 Shahabuddin et al 2005 and 2007
    relocated; process initiated in 2008 original site. Poor planning and consultation in new phase population, including marginalisation of Gujjar oustees in midst of Meena
    Simlipal National Park, WLS in 1970 Recently Three villages Bad relocation No information - At the old site: - Land not MoEF, 2006b
    Tiger Reserve and (information (72 families) package No information. suitable for MoEF, 2005
    Biosphere Reserve, TR in 1973 unclear) - At the new site: irrigation.
    Orissa North Simlipal No information. No other
    NP in 1986 information.
    Reserve in 1994
    Tadoba-Andhari Tadoba WLS Since 1986 Six villages No Induced - At the old site: - Health, education Bhagwan and Ghate,
    National Park, in 1931 (527 families) consultation, no information and transport 2003
    Sanctuary and Tiger Tadoba NP no participation - At the new site: facilities provided.
    Reserve, Maharashtra in 1955 and clearing of 550 ha - Land provided to Mehra 2004
    Andhari WLS administrative of forest, with landless.
    in 1986 delays significant flora - Poor groundwater Rucha Ghate, Shodh,
    TR in 1995 and fauna table, no source of personal
    diversity. water during communication 2007
    summer, irregular Dilip Gode,VNCS,
    irrigation, lack of personal
    grazing space, lack of communication 2007
    fodder and pasture,
    Economic & Political Weekly December 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49 5
    Annex 3: (Continued)
    Name of the PA Year of Notification* Year of Relocation Number of Persons, Families or Villages Displaced Officially Stated Causes of Relocation** Governance of Relocation Nature of the Relocation Process (see Section 1.3) Environmental Impacts of Relocation Socio-economic Impacts of Relocation Sources of Information

    irregular quality of soils

  • - Loss of nutrition and other household goods,and income from forest products.
  • - Lack of employment options.
  • - No legal titles to lands allocated (lands at original habitation had legal title).
  • -Conflicts with locals on water access.

    *WLS = Wildlife Sanctuary; NP = National Park; TR = Tiger Reserve. **Other than reasons common to all or most areas, viz, human pressures on wildlife and habitat, and human-wildlife conflicts.

    December 5, 2009 vol xliv no 49

    Economic & Political Weekly

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