Correspondent KAZIRANGA, Aug 25 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today took stock of the overall situation in the Kaziranga National Park where devastating annual floods recently claimed the lives of a large number of wild animals and displaced many others.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal feeding rhino calves during his visit to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at Panbari in Kaziranga along with ministerial colleagues Keshab Mahanta and Atul Bora and others, on Thursday. – UB Photos
Convening a meeting with the civil, police and forest administration officials of Golaghat and Nagaon districts at Kohora today to review the safety mechanism put in place in the Park for the rhinos and other animals, he expressed grave concern over the repeated instances of rhino poaching in the World Heritage Site.
“There must be an increased synergy between the police and forest departments to thwart attempts by poachers. People living in the fringes can also provide valuable inputs towards tackling the menace of poaching. The combined efforts of all put together can make the World Heritage Site a safe habitat for rhinos,” the Chief Minister stressed.
He also asked forest guards about their grievances and sought their suggestions. Most of the personnel asked for more staff at Kaziranga so that better protection could be provided to the animals and poaching activities checked. The forest staff asked for sophisticated weapons replacing the outdated arms currently being used by the forest guards. Sonowal assured that their concerns would be addressed soon.
Chief Minister Sonowal also asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to give preference to the youths of 33 fringe villages of Kaziranga for different forest-related employments.
In view of the alleged reports that contractual workers eventually provide potential information to the poachers, Sonowal directed the Forest Department to assess the antecedents of the contractual workers engaged in different works in the Park and give them photo identity cards.
The Chief Minister asked the PCCF Daresh Mathur to enhance forest camps on the periphery of the Park to keep constant vigil on the movements of poachers.
In order to mobilise people to create a deterrent against poaching, Sonowal said that the government would confer awards to those people for dedicated service against poaching.
Sonowal also paid a visit to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation located at Borjuri adjacent to the Panbari Reserve Forest and took stock of the health status of the calves of rhinos, elephants and other animals rescued during the floods.