A view of the NH-37 which passes through Kaziranga National Park. Image credit - Northeast Now

With the water level of the Brahmaputra river crossing the warning and danger level at different locations across the region, the authorities of Kaziranga National Park in Assam are gearing up to face the flood related challenges.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) on Monday warned that the water level of the Brahmaputra and Jia Bharali rivers are flowing above danger level at Nimatighat, Dhansiri, Numaligarh and at Sonitpur district (Jia Bharali river).

“It takes around 48 hours for the waters to reach Kaziranga National Park. We are expecting the flood waters to reach the park by tomorrow. However, we have put all our staff members on alert for any flood situation,” said director of the Kaziranga National Park, P Shiv Kumar.

He said the park officials have already repaired the 200 highlands inside the park which provide shelter for the animals during flood.

“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,” said the director.

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

Also read: Kaziranga among 17 sites to be developed as world class tourism destination

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

“Our forces patrol in and around the park 24X7 during the floods to ensure safety of the animals,” he said adding that the government has recently also inducted the specialized Rhino Protection Force (RPF) for better protection of the one-horned rhinos.

Also read: Special protection force to guard Kaziranga rhinos from July 15

“The park needs floods for maintaining its ecology. 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 director said.

It may be mentioned here that 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 are 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 higher grounds in Karbi Anglong district.

“The speed restriction has already been in force on the NH-37 stretch. We are going to start time card system to strictly implement the same during floods,” said a senior official of the park.

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