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Expert favours scientific study of siltation problem at KNP
Debasish Baruah
 KAZIRANGA, July 23 - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – India chapter- has underscored the need for carrying out a comprehensive scientific study on the silt deposited in the famous Kaziranga National Park (KNP). “The need of the hour is to conduct a comprehensive study to find out the actual siltation problem faced by the animals in the national park and remedial measures as well,” Dr Anupam Sharma, a senior member of the WWF (India chapter), told this correspondent during an interview here. He further added that the perennial siltation problem has posed a serious threat to flora and fauna of the World Heritage Site. “As the siltation problem has been aggravating, remedial measures should be taken at the earliest,” he said, adding that to overcome the problem, the water retention capacity of the existing water bodies should be enhanced inside the park area.

The WWF is an international non-governmental organisation which was founded in 1961 and since then it has been working in the field of wildlife across the North-east.

Sharma, who is an expert and closely associated with the various wildlife sanctuaries across the country, opined that the KNP needs a scientific data base about the siltation areas that will help take remedial measures. “We are closely monitoring the siltation problem of the park, and we feel that remedial measures should be taken urgently,” he said.

While giving a slew of suggestions in this regard, the wildlife expert appealed to the authorities concerned to conduct a comprehensive study on the siltation pockets, besides raising highland areas in the greater interest of the animals. “Professor Brij Gopal, who is also a technical advisor to the WWF, has already made an assessment on the siltation and the wetlands after the flood. He will submit the report soon which will be suitable for carrying out long-term strategies in containing the perennial problem,” Sharma claimed.

On the erosion problem, he said, “Erosion is a natural process and not much human intervention is needed to control it. Wild animals generally adjust themselves by migrating to the highland areas during the flood. But, while making those highlands one should not obstruct the existing natural water flow otherwise it would adversely affect the smaller rivers or streams inside the park.

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