KALAIGAON, June 15 � The Bhootiachang and Paneri tea gardens of Udalguri district under McLeod Russel India were awarded the �Elephants Conservation Award 2014� at a ceremony at Nonai Forest Range Office on June 13.
The award was launched last year by �Elephants on the Line (EOL)�, a programme organised by a few elephant loving people and officials of the USA, Bhutan and India for the conservation of wild elephants and to work jointly for mitigation of the man-elephant conflict in Udalguri villages bordering Bhutan. The one-year programme was supported by North Carolina State University, USA in association with the Udalguri district administration and the Dhansiri Forest Division, Udalguri.
The programme has promoted solving of India-Bhutan trans-border conservation issues. It also opened up windows of cooperation among civil, forest and people of both the countries since July 2014.
The award ceremony was conducted by EOL Assam coordinator JK Das. Sadhana Hojai, Deputy Commissioner, Udalguri presented the �Elephant Conservation Award 2014� to AK Sing, senior manager of Bhootiachang tea garden, while journalist and managing editor of DY365 Pranoy Bordoloi, who is also an honorary member of the Assam Wildlife Board, presented the award to Wasim Haque of Paneri tea garden.
Sadhana Hojai expressed her satisfaction at the good works done by the tea gardens. She also appealed to all the tea gardens of the district to work hard to mitigate the man-elephant conflict in Udalguri and to plant trees in vacant lands to prevent further encroachment.
Pranoy Bordoloi assured EOL members all possible help and cooperation for the conservation of flora and fauna of Assam. He requested EOL for its expansion on all Assam level. AK Sing, while thanking EOL members, district administration and forest department for the award, assured that their tea gardens would devote more for the conservation of wild elephants and welfare of local villagers. He also assured to sponsor two domestic kunki elephants to be deployed in villages hit by man-elephant conflict.
The award presentation ceremony was also attended by several distinguished people, including GN Adhikari, DFO, Dhansiri Forest Division, Udalguri; Mubina Akhtar, EOL core member and honorary member of the Assam Wildlife Board; Dipen Boro, EOL core member and central vice president, ABSU.
It needs mention that a two-day workshop on GPS/GIS/RS was also arranged by the EOL for its members and forest officials. The workshop was conducted by Pranjit Sarma and Bipul Das of Aaranyak, Assam on June 12 and 13 at Nonai Forest Range Office.