A large number of villagers will have to be rehabiliated and appropriate compensation be given to them. The only Tiger Reserve of Bihar Valmikinagar Tiger Project (VTP), situated in Bettiah, West Champaran has witnessed a sharp decline in the number of Big Cats. The Bihar government is taking the issue with great concern and drawing a plant to shift the human population from the area.
The planning to shift human population from 28 villages in the core area of Valmikinagar in Bettiah come into light following the CAG report. To provide more space to the tigers at the only Tiger Reserve in Bihar a possible relocation of human population is looming ahead. This move follows the Ministry of Forests and Environment’s decision to relocate 1,500 villages situated in the core area of 28 tiger reserves in the country. The office of CAG has sent report of 2005-2006 to the state government describing the number of tigers in the said tiger reserves to be only 33 in VTP as against 56 tigers were counted in 2002.
According to this report, the nearby human population is said to be the main reason behind the depleting numbers of tigers in the reserves.
Confirming this, Chief Wildlife Warden Murariji Mishra said that there had been large-scale human encroachment on the tiger reserve area. “In a bid to lessen human interference, the ministry decided to shift 1,500 villages from 28 tiger reserves in the country. In the VTP too human activities have badly affected the tiger population as well as their prey base,” Murariji Mishra said.
The latest census report on the wildlife in the Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve is still awaited. When asked about the approxiamte figure of big Cats in the forest the forest officials unwillingly said the number to be around 50. "It is on the basis of the daily reports filed by the field staff and the evidence gathered through the camera trap technique in the forests. The actual number might be greater than this" said a Project Tiger official.