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Kaziranga should get proposed additions for better management : Assam Minister

 

 

 

The Hindu, New Delhi, 3rd September, 2014

 

Kaziranga National Park has lost about 84 sq. km. since 1904 due to erosion caused by the river Brahmaputra. The shrinkage in area coupled with the increase in its wildlife population has resulted in shortage of required space for rhino and other park animals, said Assam Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain here on Tuesday.

 

Each rhino requires one sq. km. area but at present only 0.02 sq. km. is available to each rhino in Kaziranga. Density of tiger population here is also one of the highest in the world and it is about 32 to 34 tigers per 100 sq. km. The Minister said the solution lies in Revenue Department acquiring and handing over the possession of all the proposed additions of Kaziranga to the park authorities for better management. The total area of Kaziranga, including all the six additions, is 893.42 sq. km. The park has a population of 2329 rhinos, 1163 wild elephants, 106 tigers, 1937 buffalos and 1168 swamp.

 

He said the State Government was ready to pay compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the families, which would be resettled elsewhere for acquisition of the land. However, many families, who possess land certificate are reluctant to relocate, due to which the park authorities were yet to get possession of three of the six proposed additions, he added.

 

Mr. Hussain said the Environment and Forest Department has prepared a presentation on Kaziranga — highlighting various challenges of scientific management of the national park and measures initiated — to apprise Union Minister for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar during his scheduled visit to the State, including the national park, on September 4 and 5. Mr. Javadekar will discuss about the spurt in rhino poaching and other issues of the park management. This year 22 rhinos have been killed and dehorned.

 

About various steps taken by the State Government for better management of the national park, the Minister said that about 100 youth from the families living in the vicinity of the park would be recruited and trained in park management activities. At present, 100 sanctioned posts of the park are lying vacant.