Relocation of eight villages to begin soon
By Ankita Garg
The proposal to notify Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve has gathered pace after the sanctuary showed surplus number of tigers in its periphery. As per Census 2018, Ratapani has over 45 tigers that crossed the figure of Panna Tiger Reserve (31).
PCCF, Wildlife, S K Mandal said, “We are feeling more responsible towards Ratapani. Process of eight villages’ relocation will begin soon. Apart from tiger, the sanctuary has more than 150 leopards.” He further added that population of tigers has increased in State and there is need to development corridors for safety purpose. He said that corridors help to avoid man-animal conflict too. Process of notifying the sanctuary as tiger reserve is facing continuous encumbrance as last year proposal was redrafted for the three times but could not be finalised by the Government.
Current position of Ratapani includes 910 square km Sanctuary area, 4 ranges, 40 adult tigers, 29 villages, 15 villages are the boundary of Sanctuary, 8 villages inside the sanctuary, relocated village one (Datkhoh), village relocation in process are 3 and total beats are 70. A step to develop Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary as tiger reserve was started in 2007-2008 and at the time, in- principle approval of NTCA was given for creation of tiger reserve at Ratapani in 2008 but the State Government did not send final proposal to the Centre. The proposal of tiger reserve remained pending for several reasons since 2008.