GUWAHATI, Oct 23 - The Kaziranga National Park (KNP) authorities have proposed bifurcation of the Park by creating a separate North Division with its headquarters at Biswanath for managing the 6th addition of the KNP as a strategy to check poaching, etc., activities. This has come to light from a reply of the KNP authorities to a query made by RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury.
In their official letter to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam, the KNP authorities said that about four months back on June 29, 2016, they had proposed bifurcation of the National Park into two divisions � Kaziranga North, with its headquarters at Biswanath, and Kaziranga South, with its headquarters at Bokakhat.
The KNP authorities in their plea said the entire KNP is presently managed by the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, with its headquarters at Bokakhat in the district of Golaghat.
The initial area of the Park was 429.93 sq km. But after several additions appended to it, its total area has swelled to 899.70 sq km, which is going to be increased further after the Revenue Department handing over the second, third and fifth additions to the Park authorities.
There are five ranges in the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division. These are Kaziranga (Kohora), Eastern Range (Agaratoli), Western Range (Bagori), Burhapahar Range and Northern Range with headquarters at Biswanath. Of these ranges, four are located on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra, while the Northern Range is located on the north bank of the river. The Northern Range itself covers 401.50 sq km, and it covers the sixth addition of the KNP, including the Panpur Reserved Forest.
Due to expansion of area under the KNP, it has become difficult for one division to manage the National Park. Moreover, controlling the riverine area (sixth addition) under Northern Range, Biswanath by a divisional forest officer sitting at Bokakhat has become extremely difficult and many a time, these areas do not get the desired attention.
�It is, therefore, hereby proposed to create one more division with headquarters at Biswanath for managing the sixth addition of the Kaziranga National Park. The two divisions will be renamed as Kaziranga North Division and Kaziranga South Division.
�The Kaziranga South Division will cover all areas of Kaziranga situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra with existing four Ranges viz. Kaziranga (Kohora), Eastern Range (Agaratoli), Western Range (Bagori) and Burhapahar Range. The Kaziranga North Division will cover the entire sixth addition area (401.50 sq km).
�The headquarters of the division will be at Biswanath with three ranges under this division at Biswanath, Panpur and Gohpur (Gomeri). The Panpur Range and the Gohpur Range (Gomeri) will be newly created under the proposed Kaziranga North division.
�This bifurcation of the area of the Kaziranga National Park into two divisions will lead to better management and more effective conservation of wildlife,� said the KNP authorities in their proposal.