Resettled families to soon have new homes and a school
Alipurduar: The families from Bhutia Basti and Gangutia Basti of Buxa Tiger Reserve will soon have a new home on government land near the Bhatpara Tea Plantation in Kalchini, Alipurduar district. A state-of-the-art government English medium residential school, costing Rs 10 crore, will also be built near the village. The Alipurduar Zilla Parishad has initiated road construction within the village, with the gradual installation of solar lights.
R Vimala, the District Magistrate of Alipurduar, stated: “The residents of these two forest settlements will be relocated to government land adjacent to the Bhatpara Tea Garden and road construction is underway. Proposals for developing new village infrastructure, including ICDS centres, have been submitted. Each Reserve will be executed in phases pending government approval. Concerns regarding education infrastructure in the new village have been addressed, with the construction of an English medium residential school at a cost of Rs 10 crore. The school will be situated just 700 metres from the new village, near the Bhatpara Tea Garden, and will be funded by the Minority Development department. Upon completion, the school will benefit not only the children of the new village but also students from surrounding forest villages, including three tea gardens.”
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on December 10, directed the immediate rehabilitation of 243 families from two forest villages within the Buxa Tiger Reserve during a programme in Alipurduar. In response, the district administration and Forest department began evacuating Gangutia Basti and Bhutia Basti. By December 31, each family received Rs 7.50 lakh in compensation in the first phase, with the remaining amount to be given in the second phase. Alongside cash compensation, the government will allocate land for each family.
As part of the Buxa Tiger Reserve’s conservation efforts, approximately 17 forest villages will be relocated gradually to minimise human and tourist interference. Gangutia and Bhutia Basti are the first to be relocated, with residents from Raymatang, Jayanthi, and other forest villages to follow.