Cachar DFO Sunny Deo Choudhury addressing a gathering in Dholai on Tuesday.

If everything goes well, Dholai, the assembly constituency represented by Assam forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya, will very soon get a zoo cum animal rescue centre.

Cachar divisional forest officer (DFO) Sunny Deo Choudhury said this on Tuesday at an event organised at Hawaithang range, Dholai in south Assam’s Cachar district as part of 65th Wildlife Week celebration.

“A technical team is reaching Silchar today (Tuesday) from Delhi and would visit Rajnikhal under Dholai constituency on Wednesday,” DFO Choudhury told Northeast Now.

“This is a dream project of our forest minister Suklabaidya, who is a sitting MLA from Dholai and himself working round the clock in Guwahati to get all the hurdles cleared, while, we are preparing the grounds,” he said.

“We have got the green signal from chief wildlife warden and are working hard to put it in place,” the DFO added.

He said that it usually takes three to four years to start the work for making any zoo, but, the forest department is hopeful of getting the work done in a years’ time.

“We are putting in a lot of effort and want it to materialize within that time,” said Choudhury.

On being asked whether the eviction of 82 families from Rajnikhal in June 7 that created a lot of furore, was done to make this zoo, to which, DFO Cachar, said, “Not at all, rather the area was cleared due to encroachment by illegal settlers. It is our duty to clear off our protected land, but technically the place has the potential to be a zoo cum animal rescue centre”

“In fact, these people would get opportunities for employment once the zoo cum animal rescue centre comes up in Rajnikhal,” said Choudhury.

Suman Mahapatra, chief conservator of forests, said, “I personally have seen the place and now a team is coming from Delhi. If a zoo indeed comes up in this place, not only visitors can get to see something new, but also would help in conservation of wildlife of this region.”

Meanwhile, all eyes would be upon the visiting team from Delhi who would carry out survey of Rajnikhal forest area on Wednesday.

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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