The 228 families of Van Gujjars still living in the Chillawali range of Rajaji national park will be rehabilitated in Shahmansur reserve forest in Haridwar forest division, after this proposal was approved by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.
Additional secretary, Forest and Environment, Manoj Chandran said that the Van Gujjars are to be allotted plots, photo-laminated Van Gujjar i-card and possession certificates within a month. Due to delay in land allotment to these families, those who were allotted plots in Gaindikhatta in the past are not ready to leave the jungle.
The plotting and plot allocation will be undertaken jointly by officials of Rajaji and Haridwar forest division with the approval of Van Gujjars. Till the Van Gujjars relocated voluntarily, they will not be removed from the national park and no restrictions will be imposed on them taking any type of vehicle to their settlement inside Rajaji.
For rehabilitation, no charges will be levied on the goods they shift from their settlements to the site of rehabilitation and they will be allowed to partake of forest produce and grass for their new shelters. The plotting map and final list of the land allottees will be shared with the State administration so that necessary procedure can be started to declare the rehabilitation area as a revenue village.
After this rehabilitation, Van Gujjars will remain only in the Ramgarh and Gohri ranges of Rajaji. The process is on for issuing an order for their rehabilitation as well.