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Rhino poaching on the decline: KNP Director
Shambhu Boro
 TEZPUR, June 1 - Affording a glimpse into various forest management-related projects under way in Kaziranga National Park, the widely known World Heritage Site park’s Director P Siva Kumar told mediapersons here on Wednesday that incidents of rhino poaching were decreasing in the state in recent times.

It may be mentioned here that P Siva Kumar, who previously served as Conservator of Forest (Northern Range) of the Forest Department, was recently posted to Kaziranga National Park for specially monitoring the world famous Park, which is a stronghold of the one-horned rhino.

The dedicated South Indian forest officer is credited with having initiated a number of forest management-related programmes in the region since his joining the new assignment.

As part of the same initiative under the project titled: ‘Management of Ecosystem of Kaziranga National Park by Creating Climate Resilient Livelihood for Vulnerable Communities Through Organic Farming and Pond-based Pisciculture’ funded by the National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, six villages near the Kaziranga National Park are being targeted to specially train up the concerned ruralites in fishery, organic farming and watershed management with special focus on forest and wildlife management in the world- famous park

P Siva Kumar on the sidelines of inauguration of the three-day first batch training programme covering two of the aforementioned six selected villages near the KNP, said that the project will cover 2,400 households and on an average each village will get Rs 3 to Rs 4 crore.

“Through the programme, the villagers are being taught to lay stress on promoting indigenous fish varieties, organic farming and watershed management,” Siva Kumar said, adding that, “following the government’s special initiative, besides decrease in the rate of poaching in the region, including KNP, the number of rhinos has also increased to 2,400.”

The objective of the ambitious project, it may be mentioned, is on creating climate-resilient livelihood for vulnerable communities through organic farming and pisciculture at NERIWALM here.

Close on the heels of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visiting Kaziranga and directing the park authority to enhance tourist facilities, “we have been trying to promote Agaratoli, Burapahar, Panpur, Gamiri and Biswanath Ghat Range for the tourists,” Siva Kumar mentioned.

He added that arrangement for flyovers in the animal corridor areas in the park to thwart animal casualties following vehicular movement, besides creating more highlands for the wildlife during the flood season etc. are also being carried on. Further, range-wise awareness programmes too are being conducted.

Speaking on eco-sensitive zone, he said that as per the direction of the Supreme Court, the issue is being taken up and implemented in reserve forest areas like Kaziranga National Park, Sonai Rupai, Laokhowa Sapori etc., where protection of wildlife is being ensured.

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