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Anti-poaching measures hit by fund crunch

By Dalim Phukan

MORIGAON, July 10 - Flood waters of the Brahmaputra has in recent days damaged nearly 50 percent infrastructure of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district of Central Assam.

Several link roads connecting Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary are still submerged and even washed away in some places. Even on a cursory glance, atleast 60 percent of the sanctuary, which is the world's densest habitat of one-horned rhinos, is still under flood waters.

The authority of the sanctuary has tightened the security system to effectively combat poaching during the time of floods.

However, according to a Ranger of the sanctuary, due to non-availability of funds, the authority could not repair the mechanised as well as the country boats at their disposal, which has become a matter of concern in regard to protection of wildlife, including one-horned rhinos.

Admittedly, the forest guards operating inside the flood-ravaged areas of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary could not perform their rhino protection duties upto the mark due to non-availability of mechanised boats.

It is learnt that fund flow to Pobitora has been so poor during the last 3 months that it has resulted in severe problems in anti-poaching operations. As many as five anti-poaching camps of Pobitora, namely Kuchiyani, Kholabhuyan, Kukkari, Tuplung and Nekera were completely destroyed by a recent storm, besides being hit by floods. Unfortunately, till date the forest camps under reference have not been fully repaired, following which the forest guards are facing serious problems in their anti-poaching operations within the sanctuary.

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