MORIGAON, July 26 - Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma rushed to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary last evening and took stock of the flood situation there.
The entire Pobitora sanctuary is under flood waters creating an unprecedented situation. The Minister directed the forest officials to take additional measures for the protection of the wild animals. Meanwhile, the Morigaon district administration has provided two mechanised boats to Pobitora to keep vigil on poaching incidents. No poaching has been reported so far.
It may be mentioned here that the Forest Department had sanctioned Rs 28 lakh to repair the damaged infrastructure of the Pobitora Wildlife sanctuary and to pay remuneration to the casual forest guards in the financial year 2015-16. Though it was a meagre amount for the purpose, yet it was not properly utilised, alleged the local nature-loving organisations. All the mechanised and hand boats provided earlier to be used in anti-poaching operations are non-functional. Above all, five anti-poaching camps have been completely damaged inside the sanctuary. The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is now plagued by a plethora of problems. The Sanctuary authority is not able to handle the situation, the local people alleged. The fund earmarked for the development of the sanctuary was either misused or misappropriated, alleged the subordinate forest officials of the sanctuary itself who have devoted their energy round the clock to protect the rhinos and other wild animals. The most alarming matter is that a total of 527 bighas of forest land of Pobitora is under encroachment of doubtful citizens.