Correspondent KAZIRANGA, Oct 12 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal formally declared the Kaziranga National Park open for tourists, at a ceremony held at the western range of Bagori today.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Agriculture Atul Bora, Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya and Minister of Water Resources Keshab Mahanta at the jeep safari during the opening of the Kaziranga National Park at Bagori, on Saturday. – UB Photos
However, only jeep safari will be allowed in limited areas both in the western and central range of Kaziranga National Park.
Addressing the public Sonowal emphasised that concerted efforts needed to be made by all the concerned agencies including the government machinery and local people to make Kaziranga one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. Sonowal said that a target of bringing one crore tourists to Kaziranga and other places of tourists interest in Assam should be laid out for the sustainable and economic development of Assam. He suggested that there should be good hospitality for the visitors so that a positive response can be created. This will enhance more and more inflow of both domestic and international tourists.
Sonowal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team for deciding to develop and declare Kaziranga as one of top iconic tourist destinations in India last year.
He said it was the responsibility of people of Kaziranga and other parts of Assam to adopt initiatives to conserve and protect rich natural resources including protected wildlife forests like Kaziranga, Manas, Orang and Dibru Saikhowa. He said that people living in the fringe areas of Kaziranga which are likely to come under eco-sensitive zone, will get special facilities and preference to maintain sustainable livelihoods.
He said since the day his government took charge, many highlands inside the Kaziranga National Park-cum-Tiger Reserve had been constructed which ultimately ensured safety of wild animals during this year floods. Causalities of wild animals in Kaziranga during floods was very less because of those highlands.
Sonowal said task force made by BJP government has helped in reducing rhino poaching in Kaziranga to a great extent.
He said that a DPR for a proposed flyover at different wild animals corridors in Kaziranga was being prepared to ensure that Kaziranga remained a most attractive and better managed national park in India.
Sonowal emphasized for proper use of natural resources like making plates and other essential items from betel leaves etc., to make Kaziranga a fully plastic-free zone. He also emphasised the planting of saplings to keep the areas in and around Kaziranga as completely pollution free. He urged the people of Kaziranga to keep their hotels, dhabas and residences neat and clean to send a positive message to the world.
He also said that a fast track court had been established under the initiative of High Court to ensure the poachers involved in killing of rhinos and other wildlife in protected areas of Assam including Kaziranga National Park get due punishment.
Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that the BJP government under the leadership of Sarbanda Sonowal took necessary measures to improve the infrastructure in Kaziranga. He said that the DPR was being made to ensure timely completion of proposed flyovers at different wildlife corridors point in Kaziranga covering about 36 km from Bokakhat to Jakhalabandha stretch. Suklabaidya said very soon a tender process would be called to ensure that best engineering firm do the work of flyover construction properly.
Cabinet Ministers Keshab Mahanta and Atul Bora appreciated the support and contribution of local people in protecting Kaziranga National Park.
Earlier the welcome speech was given by Ranjana Gupta, PCCF, Assam. Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, MP, Rajya Sabha, and Tinkhong MLA Bimal Borah were also present during the opening ceremony of Kaziranga National Park at Bagori. Later Chief Minister Sonowal and his ministerial colleagues took a jeep safari and visited Dunga watch tower point.
Later Sonowal also declared national park of Kaziranga opened at Mihimukh under Kaziranga National Park. Sonowal also visited Kohora jeep safari counter where he addressed the people of Kaziranga. The Kaziranga Jeep Safari Association arranged a free jeep safari trip for school students of Kaziranga as an educational tour.