GUWAHATI, Nov 18 - Refuting charges made by Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar about Dispur�s lack of urgency in undertaking various projects, including recruitment of personnel for the proposed Rhino Protection Force, the State government today accused the Centre of resorting to falsehood for the sake of politics.
Speaking to reporters here, State Environment and Forests Minister Atuwa Munda said that Javadekar�s comments regarding the delay on the part of the Assam government in starting the process for recruitment of the first company of the proposed force was false. �What he said is not true. Many Central ministers have visited the North East in the past year and half, but instead of addressing the issues concerning the region they have mostly indulged in making political statements,� Munda said.
His reaction came a day after Javadekar said in Guwahati that the Central government has already sanctioned money for the first company of the proposed Rhino Protection Force and added that the Assam government has yet to complete the process of recruitment of the personnel.
�We had wanted a Special Rhino Protection Force of 1,200 personnel. The Centre has sanctioned funds only for one company of 112 personnel and even for that the actual amount has not come,� Munda claimed.
He said that the State government had last month sent a letter to New Delhi seeking Rs 2 crore as the first tranche for starting the recruitment process.
�We have asked them to first send the money so that we can start the recruitment process for the 112 personnel which have been sanctioned. But they have not responded. As for Javadekar�s charge that he has sent two letters to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi requesting the State to start the process of recruitment, I do not think what he said is true. If he has really sent those letters, he should have shown their copies to the media,� Munda said.
He, however, said that the State government will soon start the process of recruitment of personnel for the proposed force even if the Rs 2 crore sought from the Centre does not come.
Regarding rhino poaching, he said 15 rhinos have been killed by poachers, including 12 in Kaziranga, between January and October this year. �The number of poaching incidents has come down as compared to 2014 when 33 rhinos were killed by poachers, including 27 in Kaziranga alone,� Munda said.