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Maha: Scheme for development of villages around tiger reserves

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Cabinet today approved Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Jan Van Vikas Scheme, aimed at comprehensive development of villages in the buffer zones of tiger reserves and around them.

Its objectives are to reduce the man-animal conflict and achieve sustainable development of these villages.

The scheme had been proposed by Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who also holds finance portfolio, in the annual budget this year.

He said the scheme aims at reducing the dependence of villagers on the forest. The scheme will seek to boost the supplementary businesses to farming activities and create alternative employment possibilities in these areas.

The scheme will be launched on project basis from 2015-16 to 2019-2020.

The villages in the buffer zones of ‘Project Tiger’ are not expected to be rehabilitated and they are usually dependent on the forest for firewood, cattle food, grazing and employment. This puts excessive burden on the forests, thereby degrading them, Mungantiwar said this evening.