Chhattisgarh Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar on Monday again denied reports about the possibility of mass displacement of forest dwellers and curtailment of their forest rights due to the Lemru Elephant Reserve.
“No one will be displaced from Lemru Elephant Reserve. All the villages and the rights of forest dwellers will be conserved during the formation of the Elephant Reserve,” Akbar said in a press release.
The rights of forest dwellers will be protected. The representatives of village panchayats falling in the forest reserve will be included in the conservation and management committee of Lemru, he said.
Construction of the elephant reserve will help in decreasing the number of human-elephant conflict cases. It will also help in providing speedy compensation to the victims, the Minister added.
Akbar clarified that elephants of other states will not be brought into the reserve.
He said some people by giving reference to a decision of the Supreme Court about an elephant corridor in Tamil Nadu want to create confusion.
In Tamil Nadu, the government had issued notification for an elephant corridor but in Chhattisgarh the Forest Department is not acquiring any land, Akbar said.
The notification issued for Lemru is applicable only for government land, which means there will be no restrictions on the sale or purchase of private land, he added.