GUWAHATI, Aug 3 - Even as the State government has decided to upgrade the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary to a National Park, demand has been made by several quarters to expand its area and include the adjoining patches of forest within the ambit of the proposed park.
While welcoming the decision of the State government to promote the sanctuary to a National Park, social activist Ajoy Dutta said the area of the wildlife sanctuary must be expanded to at least 500 square kilometres, apart from fortifying it with other necessary infrastructure, so that it can proudly join the league other five National Parks.
�Due to a planned destruction of forests, at present the wildlife sanctuary is restricted within just 111.19 square kilometres. Before going to upgrade the WLS into a National Park, the government must expand its area to at least 500 sq km. The adjoining contiguous area surrounding Dehing Patkai can be included with ease. A timely step from the government in this regard would go a long way in protecting the precious wildlife, flora and fauna of the area,� Dutta added.
He added that since a large part of the rainforest is still unprotected, a number of social activists and NGOs are demanding expansion of the proposed National Park area.
�The government should positively look into the matter so that its decision to upgrade the WLS does not remain a superficial announcement,� Dutta added.