A sub-divisional committee formed by the Coimbatore sub-collector on Saturday surveyed a land inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) which a tribal settlement had sought for individual rights to homestead under provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
A team of officials from the Revenue, the Forest and the Survey and Land Records Departments surveyed a place called Theppakulamedu which 23 families of the tribal settlement named Kallar Kadar had sought for allocation under the Act.
Sources in the know of the developments said that the sub-divisional committee surveyed around 11 acre of land at Theppakkulamedu, equivalent to the 4.5 hectares of land the tribal families had for several decades in their original settlement for several decades.
The 23 families had to leave the original settlement named Kallar Kadar settlement in ATR following a landslide in August last year. Though they built temporary shelters near to the landslide-hit settlement, the Forest Department evicted the families and made them live in an unused tea estate quarters at Thaimudi near Valparai from August 20 last year.
Tribal rights activist S. Thanaraj, who is also the State Co-ordinator of Ekta Parishad, Tamil Nadu, said that the survey done on Saturday has given hopes to the families of realising their dream of right to homestead at Theppakulamedu, a place they chose in gram sabha.
Deputy Field Director of ATR Arockiaraj Xavier said that processing of various rights to at least 750 tribal families in the tiger reserve was under different stages.
The rights for the tribals ensured under the Forest Rights Act include rights to homestead and agricultural land, and community rights to collect forest produces other than timber.