Govt in readiness to save animals, claims minister
GUWAHATI, May 18: The Assam forest department has built around 40 highlands for providing shelter to animals due to the ongoing floods in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) and other National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries of the state.
Disclosing this, minister for Environment and Forest, Parimal Suklabaidya said on Wednesday that his department is in a complete state of preparedness to rescue animals from the onslaught of ongoing floods in Kaziranga and other National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
“We have successfully completed the construction of around 40 highlands for tackling the prevailing flood situations in Kaziranga and other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries,” he said.
The new highlands have been designed scientifically with provision for adequate grass and plant yielding fruits such as elephant apple and Indian gooseberry, Suklabaidya said in a statement.
“The highlands enable us to reduce the animal casualty during annual floods,” he added.
Suklabaidya, who is closely monitoring the flood situation in the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, said that the department is fully geared to deal with it.
“Kaziranga bears the brunt of floods every year, be it small or big. We are fully equipped to tackle any sort of emergency along with food arrangements for officers and forest personnel deployed for rescue operations of animals in Kaziranga,” he said.
More than 25 boats are kept ready for rescue of animals in Kaziranga National Park and a slew of initiatives have been taken by his department to deal with any deluge in a better and efficient manner, he said.
A baby elephant was saved from drowning on Tuesday morning, he added.
Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve director Jatin Sharma said the park has a total of 144 man-made highlands, including 33 big ones for housing animals during floods.
“In addition to that, we have built an 8.5 km long road-cum-highland for providing shelter to animals during floods and for patrolling,” he said.
Vaccination of cattle and camp elephants have been carried out near the periphery of the park in the last one and a half months to prevent infection from domestic animals to the wild animals.
In the ongoing floods in Assam over four lakh people have been affected and eight persons killed. With surface connectivity to Barak valley snapped due to the deluge, the Army, Air Force and Assam Rifles have been pressed into service for rescue and relief operations.