Forest Minister of Chhattisgarh Mohammad Akbar has said that none of the villages will be displaced for Lemru Elephant Reserve. Akbar clarified that neither villages will be displaced for the reserve nor it will impact the community forest land rights. He said that even the fear of elephant-human conflict is baseless, as on the contrary the reserve would help in resolving the problem of elephant-human conflict. Akbar emphasized that under the leadership of Bhupesh Baghel, State Government is committed to protect the rights and interests of tribal people and forest dwellers. No step would be taken against their interest.
Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar has released a statement denying the news, in which concerns of Elephant-human conflict has because of Lemru Elephant Reserve have been expressed. Akbar asserted that Lemru Elephant Reserve is being established as ‘conversation reserve’, under which neither villages would be displaced nor would it affect the community forest land rights. Villages in the reserve area would be provided additional fund for habitat development, which would help in controlling the human-elephant conflict in a better way.
Akbar has also denied the misleading news, in which confining of elephants in a particular area under Elephant Reserve has been claimed. He asserted that no such work is being done. Elephants move across longer distances, they cannot stay at one place. In year 2011, Elephant Reserve was developed in Badalkhol Raigarh Circle and both Tamora Pingla and Semarsot Sarguja Circle, and in last 10 years, it has helped in effectively controlling the human-elephant conflict situation.
Aforementioned area is a sanctuary, whereas Lemru is being developed as a conservation reserve. He said that no displacement takes place in the conservation reserve, which is established under Section 36(A) of Wildlife Conservation Act 1972, and this section is not applicable on private land. Also in case the government land, all kinds of forest rights, minor forest produce etc remain as it is.
Akbar further said that as this area has been included under the reserve area, no displacement would be done here even for mining projects etc in future. Negative publicity about Lemru Elephant is based on selfish motives of a few, who are spreading baseless rumours to mislead citizens. People should avoid such misleading news.