THE DUR­GADEVI MESS

Tehelka - - INVESTIGATION -

POWER HUB OF KALAK­HAND

Thanks to Ak­bar Ah­mad Dumpy’s ag­gres­sive and se­lec­tive sales pitches, the land price at Kalak­hand vil­lage is at least four times that of the near­est vil­lage Ja­mun. For com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, there is no le­gal ac­cess to Kalak­hand deep in­side Corbett’s Dur­gadevi range. Yet, Dumpy’s men have al­ready sold at least 20 plots here

LOOT IN­SIDE THE RE­SERVE

Quar­ry­ing of rivers in the night for con­struc­tion ma­te­rial has been a tra­di­tion around the Corbett. Em­bold­ened and with no­body to watch over, now labour­ers col­lect bolder dur­ing day­time from the Ram­ganga river ad­ja­cent to Ja­mun vil­lage for con­struc­tion of pri­vate prop­er­ties in Dur­gadevi range deep in­side the tiger re­serve

BURN­ING DOWN FORESTS

Land mafia is not only buy­ing aban­doned rev­enue land dirt cheap from ab­sen­tee vil­lagers in­side the tiger re­serve but also en­croach­ing on sur­round­ing vil­lage pan­chayat land by clear­ing and burn­ing down forests. For each le­gal acre pur­chased in­side for­est, say lo­cal bro­kers, an ex­tra acre comes free in most land deals here

PRI­VATE MO­NOP­OLY

Ex­ploit­ing a du­bi­ous pact with the for­est depart­ment for an­gling rights, Mukund Prasad’s Leisure Ho­tel has taken to­tal con­trol over a few kilo­me­tres of the Ram­ganga and the sur­round­ing forests for en­ter­tain­ing tourists. The man­age­ment pro­tects his mo­nop­oly by bar­ring lo­cal vil­lagers from set­ting up even tents to host tourists

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