GUWAHATI, May 22 � Despite a huge area of the second, third and fifth additions of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) remaining under encroachment, there has been no serious attempt on the part of the park authorities to free that area from encroachment.
This has come to light from the replies of the sub-divisional officers of Bokakhat and Kaliabor to RTI queries made by RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury on the issue.
It needs mention here that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had in its latest report, which was tabled in the State Assembly on March 31, 2015, stated: �The Department admitted that due to negligence of the Revenue as well as the Forest Departments the areas falling under 2nd, 3rd and 5th additions could not be taken over, resulting in rampant encroachments. They also accepted audit findings that constant construction activities, parking lots, erection of dhabas, etc., had led to blocking of most of the designated animal corridors. As regards the boundary demarcation, they stated that a new type of boundary pillar is being proposed to be established after proper survey of the boundaries.�
The CAG further said: �It was also stated that as per the latest report submitted by the Circle Officer in September 2014, all the Government land in the periphery of the KNP falling under the Kaliabar Circle stand encroached.�
Choudhury said that the Director of the Kaziranga National Park, (Letter No.KNPJFG.47, dated: 19th November, 2014) and Divisional Forest Officer, Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, Bokakhat (Letter No. B.WLGJ illegalities J2014 dated: 22nd Nov, 2014), had stated that construction of all new structures within a radius of 500 metres from the boundary of the KNP was to be stopped forthwith.
Both the forest officials also called for necessary measures to demolish all such structures of recent origin in consultation with officials concerned of civil administration and any further activities in the animal corridor was also to be stopped immediately.
The SDO(C), Bokakhat said in his reply to Choudhury�s query, �No request has been made by the officials of Kaziranga National Park authorities to the undersigned.�
The SDO(C), Kaliabor also said in his reply, �As per this office record, the Sub-divisional Officer (Civil) has not been approached directly by any official.�
In this connection, Choudhury referred to another observation made by the CAG in the said report. The CAG said on Page No. 60 (12.5.7): �Incidentally, it was noticed from the records of the park authorities that the PCCF, Wildlife had in October 2012 requested all the divisions to initiate the position of encroachment. During verification of records in the PCCF, Wildlife office it was observed that none of the division, including the KNP had reported the position.�