KAZIRANGA, March 4 - All is not well for Kaziranga forest as a section of people including political elements had been causing disruptions over smooth handing over of already evicted land at Bandardubi and Deosur to Kaziranga National Park authority for their own vested interest.
According to a source in the Forest department, the Deputy Commissioner of Nagoan district had already issued an order on February 18, 2020 to Kaliabor civil administration (Circle Office) to hand over the evicted land at Bandardubi and Deosur to Kaziranga National Park authority soon, after this correspondent wrote on the matter which was published in The Assam Tribune on February 6, 2020.
Accordingly, a joint survey was carried out under the initiative of Kaliabor subdivisional administration and Kaziranga National Park authority to clear out the demarcated part. But suddenly the handing over process was delayed, said the source adding that the Forest department was still not clear about why the process of handing over of already evicted land (as per the order of Gauhati High Court) was stopped and delayed in spite of the order issued by Deputy Commissioner of Nagoan district on February 18, 2020.
The poaching activities have been greatly reduced and controlled after the eviction at Bandardubi and Deosur areas, which was carried out in September, 2016. Eviction order was given by Gauhati High Court for the greater interest of Kaziranga National Park.
Meanwhile, officials in Kaliabor subdivision informed that handing over of the evicted land was under process. But question arises about what kind of, if any, technical issue has made the handing over process delayed even after the instruction given by the Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon.
This correspondent interacted with some people of the locality near the evicted site who wanted that evicted land should be handed over to the Tourism department for tourism purposes. But the land remains under the control of either Revenue or Forest department.
It seems that Forest department is also not doing the needful to take over the evicted land of Bandardubi and Deosur from Kaliabor civil administration.
Meanwhile according to Forest department sources, the Bandardubi and Deosur areas were already handed over to the Forest department long time back. Secondly, Bandardubi and Deosur areas were said to be wild animal corridors. It is worth mentioning here that if any land is handed over by any State government to concerned Forest department for forest purposes, then the same land cannot be taken back by the same State government without the prior approval of the Central government.
During interaction with a cross section of people, this correspondent was made to understand that Diffloo river which passes adjacent to Bandardubi area was the bone of contention as fishing activities are being carried out there. �If Bandardubi area comes under Kaziranga National Park authority, then there will be no fishing activities and this will hurt the business of various groups. So some people are opposing the move to hand over the evicted land to Kaziranga National Park authority,� said a Forest department source.
Now the ball lies in the court of the State government. The State government needs to move fast for the greater interest of Kaziranga National Park.