DHEMAJI, Aug 12 - The Territorial Forest department of Dhemaji following a State government�s instruction recently submitted a proposal to the State Forest department to upgrade Poba Reserve Forest to a wildlife sanctuary.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Dhemaji Sofikul Rohman informed that he forwarded the proposal following the local people�s demand to declare the RF as a wildlife sanctuary.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who visited the flood-ravaged Jonai subdivision in Dhemaji district last month, announced that he would take an early initiative to declare the Reserve Forest (RF) under Dhemaji forest division as �wildlife sanctuary�.
The development took place after the Prime Minister�s office (PMO) paid attention to public pleas to declare Poba as a wildlife sanctuary.
It may be recalled that Assam�s prominent wildlife and nature conservation organisation Nature�s Beckon wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his immediate intervention in declaring the Poba Reserve Forest as a wildlife sanctuary.
Subsequently, the PMO during October last year forwarded the letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change directing for actions and steps as necessary by the Assam Forest Department to upgrade the RF as a wildlife sanctuary.
The Nature�s Beckon (NGO) in its letter noted it was very important to upgrade Poba RF as a wildlife sanctuary as it has a contiguous landscape with Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh and Dibru Saikhowa National Park in Upper Assam�s Tinsukia district.
Declaration of Poba RF as a wildlife sanctuary was a long-pending public demand and local NGOs and various students� unions of the district had been demanding the State government to take up the initiative.
There is a wild animal corridor at Poba linking D� Ering WLS and Dibru Saikhowa National Park and other natural forests of the region.
Located at Jonai town outskirts at easternmost part of Dhemaji district, Poba RF is covering the entire eastern part of the subdivision, while it covers a large portion of Ruksin forest range in bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
Locals said that there has been rampant illegal exploitation of the forest resources from Poba, which is affecting the wildlife to a great extent.
Notified by the then British government in 1924 as a reserve forest, Poba used to be home to many rare and endangered animal species. However, unabated erosion posed by Siang (Lali) river, encroachment on the forest land, poaching and illegal collection of forest wealth by unscrupulous traders have threatened its existence.