On a day, while the 150th birth anniversary of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was being observed, a national holiday too, Brij Raj Sharma, a zoo specialist was hovering around Rajnikhal under Dholai constituency of Cachar district in Assam for 250 hectares of land.
Yes it’s true as Brij Raj Sharma is a retired principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) as well as former member secretary of the Central Zoo Authority, with a distinction of setting up at least two to three zoos on his own and now plays a key role in getting Assam to have its second zoo in the State.
Though, Brij Raj Sharma, was not available for his feedback about Rajnikhal, where he visited on Wednesday, last, to give the green signal to set up a zoo, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Cachar, Sunny Deo Choudhury, looked a happy man.
Speaking to Northeast Now at his residence in the evening, DFO, Sunny Deo Choudhury, said, “We are planning to set up a centre where species endemic to Barak valley should find more space and habitat to live freely out here.”
“Out of the nine primates available in Assam, Barak valley alone has the habitat for eight of those species, but, are dwindling fast, as forest areas are being encroached upon or cut to the fullest,” said, DFO Cachar.
The DFO added, “We are planning to build a conservation centre for the animals, for not only the animals can live free from starvation, but, they can be a serious subject for researchers coming from Assam, India, and abroad as well.”
“A place where any tourist can avail a jungle safari, apart from enjoying the luxury to see animals that are prevalent in this region, sustainability of setting it up, would be a tough task for the proposed zoo cum rescue centre for animals in Rajnikhal, said, Sunny Deo Choudhury.
Choudhury added, “A society, headed by forest minister, for now, ParimalSuklabaidya, should run this zoo cum animal rescue centre, and, see to it that the revenue collected goes back in developing this edifice rather than sending it back to the state’s exchequer.”
The DFO Cachar, informed, the specialist that we have invited has made his observations and is literally happy after seeing the proposed area to build this zoo cum animal rescue centre.
Sunny Deo Choudhury, said, “At least a sum of Rs 150 crores would be needed to set up a world class animal conservation centre where our motto would be to study upon these animals rather making this place a business hub to draw tourists alone.”