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�Frontline forest staff should get special hazardous allowance�

By Correspondent

KAZIRANGA, Jan 26 - The frontline forest staff working in the Protected Areas of Assam, including the Kaziranga National Park, have been rendering their services under tremendous pressure like threat from poachers and wild animals, for which they should be provided a special hazardous allowance and incentives.

Former KNP director cum Chief Conservator of Forest Surajit Dutta said this in reference to a man named Liladhar Sarmah who was attacked by a sloth bear in the Eastern range of Agaratoli under KNP in December last year while on patrol duty.

Sharma was bleeding badly and later underwent treatment at Apollo Hospital in Guwahati. His face was distorted in the attack, and there was breakage of internal soft tissue and bones inside the mouth.

Dutta said that the situation in any wildlife area is very risky, given the aggressive behaviour of wild animals like rhino, wild buffalo, tiger and bear.

�The situation in a forest area is always risky due to both poachers as well as wild animals. So, a special hazardous allowance must be adequately provided to each and every frontline staff working inside protect areas like KNP. This allowance should also be given to casual labourers working inside the forest area to clean up the approach roads and other work. An additional amount of at least 20 per cent of their basic pay should be given to those frontline staff who are always under threat from wild animals and poachers,� said Dutta.

He was of the view that since Central government officers and staff working in the North East get special incentives, so why are state government employees including frontline forest being excluded.

KNP Director P Siva Kumar said there was a health insurance scheme provided by Numaligargh Refinery Limited (NRL) to meet the expenses of any injured person working inside KNP. He said that to an extent, a certain amount for treatment of injured forest employees is also arranged by WWF India. He said that a proposal has been sent to the state government for additional payment of 25 per cent of money to forest staff working at KNP, and the matter was being discussed with the State Wildlife Board.

Sources in the Forest department at Kaziranga said that sophisticated automatic weapons should be provided to every frontline staff to deal with poachers and wild animals.

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�Frontline forest staff should get special hazardous allowance�

KAZIRANGA, Jan 26 - The frontline forest staff working in the Protected Areas of Assam, including the Kaziranga National Park, have been rendering their services under tremendous pressure like threat from poachers and wild animals, for which they should be provided a special hazardous allowance and incentives.

Former KNP director cum Chief Conservator of Forest Surajit Dutta said this in reference to a man named Liladhar Sarmah who was attacked by a sloth bear in the Eastern range of Agaratoli under KNP in December last year while on patrol duty.

Sharma was bleeding badly and later underwent treatment at Apollo Hospital in Guwahati. His face was distorted in the attack, and there was breakage of internal soft tissue and bones inside the mouth.

Dutta said that the situation in any wildlife area is very risky, given the aggressive behaviour of wild animals like rhino, wild buffalo, tiger and bear.

�The situation in a forest area is always risky due to both poachers as well as wild animals. So, a special hazardous allowance must be adequately provided to each and every frontline staff working inside protect areas like KNP. This allowance should also be given to casual labourers working inside the forest area to clean up the approach roads and other work. An additional amount of at least 20 per cent of their basic pay should be given to those frontline staff who are always under threat from wild animals and poachers,� said Dutta.

He was of the view that since Central government officers and staff working in the North East get special incentives, so why are state government employees including frontline forest being excluded.

KNP Director P Siva Kumar said there was a health insurance scheme provided by Numaligargh Refinery Limited (NRL) to meet the expenses of any injured person working inside KNP. He said that to an extent, a certain amount for treatment of injured forest employees is also arranged by WWF India. He said that a proposal has been sent to the state government for additional payment of 25 per cent of money to forest staff working at KNP, and the matter was being discussed with the State Wildlife Board.

Sources in the Forest department at Kaziranga said that sophisticated automatic weapons should be provided to every frontline staff to deal with poachers and wild animals.

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