TEZPUR, Oct 21 - An awareness meeting on issues related to wildlife conservation was organised at the forest range campus of Tezpur Sadar Range here recently.
More than 40 village headmen (gaon burhas) and representatives of �Anti-Depredation Squad� took part in the event.
Inaugurating the event, Sadar Range forest officer Debabrat Gogoi urged one and all to come forward for the wildlife conservation programme. Presided over by the DFO of Sonitpur West Division Ranjit Konwar, among other dignitaries the programme was also graced by the Conservator of Forest P Sivkumar.
Speaking on the occasion, Conservator of Forest Sivkumar spoke about various Government programmes like plantation drive, timely ex-gratia payment, distribution of gas connection, searchlights etc. to the fringe area villagers by the Forest Department to minimise incidents of man-elephant conflict in the region.
Mediapersons Sanjeeb Hazarika and Pulak Deka, honorary wildlife warden of Biswanath district Bubuli Hazarika, nature lovers namely Palash Hazarika and Dipjyoti Choudhury who were also present in the programme spoke on the importance of conservation of forests, thereby checking increasing incidents of man-elephant conflict in the region.
Addressing those present, Hiten Baishya from WWF urged all the stakeholders, including the Forest Department to sincerely get involved in checking man-elephant conflict while Saurav Barkataki, honorary wildlife warden of Sonitpur district stated that the migratory wild elephant herds require safe passage and any kind of obstacle faced by them during their movement should be removed and no developmental activity or industrialisation should be allowed in the elephant corridors. He mentioned about the recent developments in the Depota elephant crossing area.
In the awareness programme, the village headmen were warmly felicitated for their contribution towards wildlife conservation in the district and 40 searchlights and 400 packets of fire crackers were distributed among them.