New Delhi: The dwindling population of tigers in the country has proved to be a bane for some villages in the country. According to the save tiger campaign, people living near tiger sanctuaries have been asked to leave their homes and move to other places for a living in order to provide safe natural habitat to raise the number of big cats.

Last week, all the 350 habitants of 82 families of Urmi village near the Sariska tiger Reserve left for an unknown place. Urmi is the second village from where people have been forced to migrate.

In the recent past the numbers of tigers have drastically fallen in India. According to the 2011 census, there are 1,700 tigers in the country as compared to about one lakh a century ago. It is to be noted that three years back there wasn’t a single tiger in the Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Rajasthan, PS Somasekhar says, “There is a need to relocate about 2,500 people of 11 villages living in the middle of the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Most of the area is populated by tribal groups. Also, efforts are being made to displace four more villages in the next few years.”

He adds, “We cannot force them to leave but can convince them to do so. The reserve needs two more tigresses to increase their number from 80 to 100.”

Rajasthan Chief Wildlife Warden AC Choubey said, “The displaced villagers are provided land, cash, livestock and Rs one lakh as compensation along with cultivable land around the Tiger Reserve”.