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Govt charts plans to stop rhino poaching

By Debasish Baruah

KOHORA, June 7 - The State Environment and Forest Minister, Pramila Rani Brahma, said here today that she would adopt all possible measures to stop poaching of rhinos in the Kaziranga National Park and other wildlife parks and sanctuaries in the State.

Addressing a gathering of locals during her visit to Kaziranga, she urged the people to protect the pride of Assam, claiming that she accepted the portfolio of Environment and Forest Minister with an aim to stop rhino poaching across the State. The arms and ammunition of Forest Guards would also be upgraded so that the personnel can fight back the poachers armed with sophisticated weapons, she added.

According to Brahma, one of her main priorities is to understand various problems faced by the Forest Guards and Forest battalion staying in the jungle camps of Kaziranga. She said that she would interact with the frontline Forest staff without the presence of any senior Forest officials so that they could freely express their views and grievances before the Minister.

She also said that she would start a process of recruiting local people of Kaziranga in the Forest Department.

Water Resources, Science and Technology and IT Minister Keshab Mahanta, Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan and Agriculture Minister Atul Bora were also present in the meeting.

While addressing the gathering, Mahanta said that a special recruitment process should be adopted to select youngsters from Kaziranga area in the Forest Department.

Dibrugarh MLA suggested that a ropeway system should be introduced in Kaziranga forest so that it would facilitate the Forest Guards to patrol the area at night. Agriculture Minister Atul Bora assured that the interest of the people of Kaziranga would always be preferred.

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