Bokakhat(Assam): Union Environment and Tourism Minister Jayanti Natarajan announced a Rs one crore package for world-famed Kaziranga National Park today to tackle the situation arising there out of waves of flood and consequent death of animals this year.
The money was sanctioned from the Tiger Reserve Fund for the world famous Park where a total 39 rhinos have been killed in and around it in less than 10 months.
Natarajan, who reviewed the situation in the Park following the devastating floods and recent incidents of rhino poaching, also announced that five country boats and four speed boats would be immediately sanctioned to the Park to help in the rescue and protection of animals.
The union minister, who was accompanied by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, also stressed the need to strengthen the network between different agencies engaged in wildlife protection.
Referring to recent incidents of poaching in the Park, she said the Wildlife Crime Control Board was conducting an inquiry into the killings and necessary action would be taken after the submission of the report.
The involvement of militants in poaching has been established and the concerned department was taking steps accordingly.
Measures were also being taken to increase the number of forest guards to ensure increased vigil and patrolling in the Park.
There were plans to construct flyovers from Bokakhat to Jakhalabandha on NH 37 which runs through the Park to prevent killing of animals when they cross to the highlands in adjacent Karbi Anglong district during the floods, she said.
The Union Minister also held a close-door meeting with the Chief Minister, state Forest Minister Rakibul Hussain and senior government officials.
Lauding the steps taken by the Assam Chief Minister and the state forest department in tackling poaching in and around the park, Natrajan stressed the need to create a buffer zone to prevent incidents of man-animal conflict.
The recent steps taken by the state forest department to set up 152 anti-poaching camps would go a long way in controlling poaching, she said adding there is no emergency situation in Kaziranga and it has earned the distinction of being one of the country`s best managed national parks.
The union minister also gave the assurance that both the Centre and the state government would work together to solve the existing problems at the park.
Chief Conservator of Forests M K Vasu gave a power-point presentation while Forest Minister Rakibul Hussain submitted a memorandum to her highlighting the various requirements of the Park.