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Wildlife, nature lovers seek protection of jumbo corridors


TEZPUR, Aug 30 - Wildlife and nature lovers urged the authorities concerned to intervene in maintaining the sanctity of elephant movement tracks or corridors by prohibiting any future land use in these specified areas. A group of wildlife and nature lovers have recently submitted a memorandum to the Sonitpur Deputy Commissioner in this regard.

Assam being a part of 35 global biodiversity hotspots is very rich in flora and fauna diversity. Presence of sizeable population of mega herbivores like rhino, elephant and water buffalo, and predators like tiger and leopard speaks volumes about the biological significance of the region at the global scale.

But as a result of large-scale depletion of forest cover and blockade of animal corridors in the region during the last three decades, it has resulted in the increase of man-animal conflicts.

The man-elephant conflict has already reached nearly an unmanageable proportion in the districts of Sonitpur, Biswanath, Udalguri, Nagaon, Golaghat and Goalpara. Maximum incidents of man-elephant conflict were reported in Sonitpur district during 1990-2017. In the same period, 155 elephants and 252 humans were killed in Sonitpur because of the conflict.

The forested hills along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in the north bank of the Brahmaputra has been a prime elephant habitat. This particular geographic space has two contagious elephant reserves � the Sonitpur Elephant Reserve in Assam and the Kameng Elephant Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh.

One of these elephant corridors in Sonitpur district was the Chardwar-Singri corridor connecting the Chardwar Reserve Forest in the north with the riverine island in the Brahmaputra, near the Singri Reserve Forest. As per available data, due to the blockade of the Sonai-Rupai-Singri elephant corridor since 2001-2002, the animals started taking a different route through Tarajuli, Borjuli, Dhulapadung, Rupaljuli and Nameri.

If elephants are allowed to use this track with no or minimum disturbances, the incidents of man-elephant conflict in this belt will be significantly low. A substantial part of this track falls within tea estates and paddy fields.

Records stated that in the recent past, one person in the Jiagabharu area under Misamari police station in Sonitpur district was killed due to man-elephant conflict, while many dwellings in the area were damaged by the marauding jumbos.

The wildlife lovers, however, urged the agencies concerned to come forward to protect the wildlife in the region and help secure these animal corridors to reduce the man-elephant conflict.

Drama festival: The weeklong Late Deepak Mahanta Memorial Drama Festival will be held from September 1 at the District Library here. Late Mahanta was a noted playwright, journalist and social worker of Tezpur during the 80s.

He wrote a number of plays including Gospuria, Pinhole Camera, Dhaniramor Theatre, Ulanga Roja, Bandar, Megharmollar, Adipath, Bibhu Kolitar Inersia, Ponbandi, Bahari Pohholor Bat, Khiyali Palegoi Ratanpur, etc. Late Mahanta, who was very much vocal about social issues, always gave top priority to the society�s development.

For keeping his memory alive and giving a recognition to his contributions towards the society, different organisations here, including the Tezpur Sahitya Sabha and the Baan Theatre family have been organising various programmes since his demise.

The mega drama festival will be held from September 1 to 5, and it will be formally inaugurated by Asom Natya Sanmilon president and noted theatre personality Dulal Roy.

A total of eight plays will be staged during the event which will be organised by the Tezpur Monikut Kolashetra.

One of the organisers of the event Amrit Buragohain informed that the stage of the drama festival is dedicated to the noted theatre personality, late Shukracharya Rabha.

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