The Revenue Department and the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department are making efforts to provide free housing for Kadar tribe families that were given patta for homesteads in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) in November.
A senior official from the Revenue Department told that the free housing would be offered through a scheme of the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department. There is no problem in building concrete houses inside the tiger reserve under the scheme as the families own patta given by the State government, said the official.
The families had been living in dwellings made of bamboo, palm leaves or tarpaulin. A total of 21 Kadar tribe families, who earlier lived in the traditional settlement at Kallarkudi inside the ATR, were given pattas for homestead at a place called Theppakulamedu on November 7. Each family was given 1.5 cents.
On Friday, the Forest Department removed dwellings erected by some of the tribal families, citing that they were erected outside the land allotted by the government. The tribal families, however, accused the Forest Department of doing injustice to them.
Based on the direction from District Collector G.S. Sameeran, a land survey was done at Theppakulamedu on Saturday and the 21 families were shown the land allotted for them. The tribal families reiterated their demand for the allocation of land equal to what they had at Kallarkudi, their traditional settlement that was hit by a landslide in August 2019.
The Forest Department informed the families that they can only allot land inside the tiger reserve strictly based on the data given by the government. A Forest Department official said the families have been allotted land for agriculture around 1.5 km from Theppakulamedu. Likewise, the government should provide home for the homeless people also.
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