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WTI initiative for safe elephant passage in state

The Assam Tribune, Guwahati, 2th April, 2013

In the next few months, the wild pachyderms are likely to get a secure passage. The initiative taken by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is going to ensure a safe corridor for the elephants in Kalapahar-Doigrong, touching Golaghat and Karbi Anglong.

Dr Rathin Barman, coordinator of WTI, Assam informed that communication was on with the families settled along the Kalapahar-Doigrong passage and the 2 km route would be secured for the pachyderms by this year.

“We have been closely working with communities to secure the critical elephant corridors in the State. We have been particularly working on securing the corridors that provide a safe passage to the animals from Kaziranga National Park to Karbi Anglong Hills during the floods,” said Dr Barman adding that around 50 families along the Kalapahar-Doigrong route would be relocated for the purpose.

Addressing media persons here on Monday, Dr Barman said that WTI is working with the people living in the elephant corridors to ensure implementation of the best solution that benefits all.

“Our mission is to conserve wild life and its habitat in partnership with communities and governments,” said Dr Barman mentioning that WTI has also been focusing on training frontline staff and individuals associated with wild life conservation and welfare.

It needs to be mentioned here that this initiative also includes a group accident insurance scheme providing insurance cover to 1936 frontline forest staff in Assam. So far claims and ex gratia amount of Rs 14,10000 have been given out to families of frontline staff injured or killed on duty.

On the other hand, WTI announced two fellowships for young journalists working in the vernacular media and covering wild life issues and also one annual award to a journalist/writer/film maker who has done commendable work on wild life in Assam.