A survey of tribal habitats in Nagarahole National Park, aimed at rehabilitating the tribals living in reserved forests under the Tribal Rights Act, was launched at the Gaddehaadi tribal colony near here yesterday.

The survey is jointly launched by the Social Welfare Department, Revenue Department and the Forest Department.

Assistant Commissioner M.R. Ravi, who heads the survey team, is the Chairman of the Sub-Divisional Level Committee for Recommendation of Title Deeds to Tribals, the DC being the Chairman of the District Committee.

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, Ravi said that the survey was being conducted on the basis of 707 applications for individual rights and 32 for community rights from the Nagara-hole, Kallahalla and Anechow-koor ranges of the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, coming under Kodagu district.

"The district administration had received 3157 such applications from the tribals, of which 807 cases had been cleared earlier," Ravi said. The survey is carried out using the latest Global Positioning System, said Ravi and added that three teams of surveyors had been constituted for the task, aimed at completing it in a fortnight's time.

"During the survey, the land areas held by each of the applicants, including house plots, plantations and paddy fields, will be identified. Similarly, under the community-based survey, plots of lands used by the tribals as burial ground or crematorium, places of worship, for traditional and other religious practices etc. will be identified," he said.

"Apart from giving the tribals the right over land held or cultivated by them since generations, they will also be responsible for forest conservation and maintaining the ecological balance in and around their habitats," Ravi said and added that they will be allowed to extract minor forest produce like honey, shikakai, mushrooms, firewood from dead and fallen trees etc.

Tribal settlement leaders Jenukurubara Lingappa, Manu, Thimma and others, who objected to the survey in the beginning thinking that it was aimed at dislocating them, agreed to co-operate after Ravi explained to them about the purpose of the survey. The survey work, which was supposed to be done during August last, had been stalled following protests from tribal organisations.

Subsequently, Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, who is the MLA of the constituency, ordered for the survey to be conduc-ted under the Tribal Rights Act of 2006. MP A.H. Viswanath and Forest Minister C.H. Vijayashankar too demanded the same.

Indian Tribal Development Project Liaison Officer Ganeshappa, In-Charge Tahsildar Shyam and other officials were present.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore