Assam Flood 2019
A view of flooded Kaziranga National Park. Image credit - Northeast Now

With rise in the water level of the river Brahmaputra due to incessant rains, over 70 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam has been submerged by flood waters of the mighty river.

Apart from river Brahmaputra, rising waters from river Dhansiri also entered the national park.

Due to incessant rains for the past few days, river Brahmaputra, its tributories and most of the other rivers across the state are flowing above danger level causing flood.

According to information, the forest personnel of Kaziranga National Park have been patrolling on boats inside the flooded areas of the national park, which is known for its one-horned rhinoceros.

As per reports, the forest personnel of the park have been engaged for 24 hours on rotation basis to protect the wild animals including rhino which move from the flooded areas to safer places.

It is a known fact that every year, the poachers make poaching attempts inside the park during floods taking advantage of the situation.

However, the authorities of Kaziranga National Park in Assam are gearing up to face the flood related challenges.

“We have put all our staff members on alert for any flood situation,” said director of the Kaziranga National Park, P Shiv Kumar recently.

Kumar informed that officials of the Kaziranga National Park have already repaired the 200 highlands inside the park which provide shelter for the animals during flood.

The park director also said, “We have also coordinated with the fringe villagers of the park so that the distressed animals could be saved during the floods. The villagers living around the area and our front line staff members are very important as they are the first respondents in terms of flood.”

According to the census carried out in 2018, there are 2413 one-horned rhinos in the park.

During the flood season, the poachers also take advantage and try to kill the animal.

The director also said “Our forces patrol in and around the park 24X7 during the floods to ensure safety of the animals.”

Kumar also informed that the government has recently inducted the specialized Rhino Protection Force (RPF) for better protection of the one-horned rhinos.

Stating that the park needs floods for maintaining its ecology, the director further said, “The annual flood also washes out all the unwanted weeds from the park helping maintain its ecology. However, the problem is when there is high floods.”

The Kaziranga National Park as well as the civil administration authorities have already imposed speed restriction on the NH-37 that touches the southern boundary of the park.

The vehicles have also been asked to drive at maximum 40 km/h speed in the stretch of the national park so that it does not pose threat to distressed animals which try to cross the NH-37 during high floods to reach the hilly places in Karbi Anglong district.

As per the latest flood report of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), in Assam flood 2019, a total of 21 districts have been reeling under waters and 8,69,024 people of 1,556 villages have been affected.

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