Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) executive member (forest) Ranjit Basumatary has interacted with the frontline forest staff of Kachugaon forest division of the proposed Raimona National Park.

Basumatary also distributed basic gears among the forest staff to boost their morale and enhance the law and enforcement in the 422 sq km area of the Ripu Reserve Forest, which will be upgraded into the Raimona National Park.

The forest department in collaboration with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) organized the interaction programme on Saturday.

The basic gears provided to the forest staff included 300 winter jackets, 100 sleeping bags, 20 rechargeable torch lights, 500 copies of the 6th Edition of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in Assamese and inverter sets.

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“This is an opportunity to retain the rich biodiversity of Manas. It is my privilege to be a part of this unique opportunity to share responsibilities with our frontline forest staff under Kachugaon division,” said Ranjit Basumatary.

“The gazette notification of Raimona National Park will be like a feather on the crown. I will take this opportunity and appeal to the Assam government for immediate notification in the official gazette,” said  Basumatary.

WTI and IFWA have been working with the forest department and BTC for more than fifteen years to preserve and promote the rich natural heritage of Bodoland.

“The WTI and IFWA have extended all possible supports to us in re-introduction of rhinos from Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in Kaziranga in 2006, translocation of eastern swamp deer from Kaziranga to Manas in 2014 and rehabilitation of various threatened species in the landscape,” said Anindya Swargowari, additional principal chief conservator of forest and CHD, BTC (Forest).

“The gazette notification of the first addition to the Manas National Park covering 350 sq km is a result of tireless work towards achieving the recommendations made by the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee,” said Swargowari.

This has encouraged the state government to consider the extension of the Manas World Heritage site property in three stages.

‘We have also submitted the proposal to the Assam government for notification of the proposed Raimona National Park covering 422 sq km area, which is a major chunk of Ripu Reserve Forest,” said Swargowari

The area has a century-old history of management of forest having scope for conservation both at landscape and transboundary level, he said.

“Today we have distributed basic gears to all the frontline forest staff of Raimona range (western), Central range (Kachugaon), Sanfan range and Athiabari range (eastern) including the 105 service providers of Green Forest Conservation under the Kachugaon division,” said Sanatan Deka, manager and project head of WTI.

Rinoy Basumatary

Rinoy Basumatary is Northeast Now Correspondent in Kokrajhar. He can be reached at: rinoymasscom@gmail.com