The Odisha government has decided to relocate the villagers living in the core areas of Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary in Kendrapada district, an official said here on Sunday. Villagers of Satabhaya, Kanhupur and Charigharia would be rehabilitated to Bagapatia, that will come under the buffer zone of the sanctuary.
A committee of the State Board of Wildlife under the chairmanship of Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh has approved the relocation and rehabilitation of villagers, said S.S. Srivastav, principal chief conservator of forests.
He said the committee will submit its proposals to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik within a month. He said after the approval of the chief minister, proposals would be sent to the National Board of Wildlife, the apex body headed by the prime minister, for the final approval.
Bagapatia was situated in Bhitarkanika before it was formally notified as a wildlife sanctuary in 1975. At least 571 families of Satabhaya are likely to be relocated to Bagapatia. (IANS)