Guwahati,Aug 30: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday appealed to drivers travelling to Upper Assam to avoid the highway through flooded Kaziranga National Park and instead take the North Bank route.
He directed that till significant decrease in flood situation, heavy vehicles, including goods carriers, will not ply through the national park and will be diverted through the North Bank from Monday onwards. Vehicles from Lower Assam will be diverted from Baihata Chariali, while those from Central Assam will be diverted through Kaliabhumura bridge. Similarly, those coming to lower Assam will have to take the Bogibeel-North Bank route.
"We all take pride in Kaziranga National Park. In wake of floods causing displacement of Kaziranga animals and putting them on risk, may I appeal to truck and other vehicles to avoid NH 715 (new name of NH 37) for commuting between lower and upper Assam and use NH 15 through North Bank instead...Let's do our bit to protect our animals," Sarma said in an appeal.
According to a flood bulletin by the park authorities, around 70 percent of the Unesco World Heritage Site was under water on Monday. Park authorities have started issuing time cards to regulate traffic in the animal corridors and the inmates were moving to the higher grounds in the east. At least four animals, all hog deer, have died during the past few days, and three of the deaths were due to vehicle hits. Altogether 125 forest camps of the total 223 are under flood waters, according to the bulletin.