KAZIRANGA, June 24 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal distributed cheques among members of seven eco-development committees located in and around Kaziranga National Park (KNP) at a special function held at Burapahar Range office of Kaziranga National Park on Monday.
The programme was held under the initiative of Kaziranga Ecosystem through the National Adoption Fund for Climate Change and was funded by NABARD. Cheques amounting to Rs 70 lakh were given away formally among members of eco-development committees coming from Japori Pathar, Kuthori, Amguri, Phulaguri, Travepal and Gourpal areas situated in and around Kaziranga National Park.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that due to the active support of fringe area population, Kaziranga National Park had been relatively safe from the ravages of anti-social elements as the local people had over the years built up a very efficient intelligence-sharing network and had all along been assisting the Forest Department in terms of conservation and protection of wildlife in the internationally-famed World Heritage Site by providing timely inputs.
Heaping praise on the occasional intelligence inputs provided to the field staff by the fringe area population near KNP, Sonowal hoped that the bonds of trust among the local people and forest staff in the days ahead would help in the conservation of prime wildlife habitat and species, besides restricting poaching activities.
Sonowal recalled that since the current BJP dispensation assumed office in the State, different protective measures had been initiated in order to ensure that the wild denizens of Kaziranga National Park and its adjoining forests, including its flagship species, the rhino, remained protected from poachers.
The fast track court established by this government ensured a better conviction rate as far as rhino poaching cases are concerned, said Sonowal, adding that his government was very much committed towards conservation of flora and fauna in the State.
The financial support provided by the government aims at enabling the fringe area population to go for different activities like watershed management, pisciculture, organic farming, skill development, etc.
According to a Forest Department source, this kind of financial support would help in economic development in the fringe areas of Kaziranga National Park possible, besides help in carrying out conservation initiatives.
Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta and senior forest and civil officials were also present at the function.