Guwahati: Assam gets two more national parks after Kaziranga, Manas, Orang, Dibru-Saikhowa, Nameri NPs as declared by the BJP led State government in Dispur. State forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Thursday formally inauguration Raimona national park. On the other hand, Dehing Patkai national park is waiting for its turn.
Union environment, forest & climate change minister Prakash Javadekar appreciated the initiative and commented with a tweet ‘Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary and Raimona reserve forest are now declared as National Park’. He congratulated the people of Assam for attaining the State with the second-highest number of national parks in the country (after Madhya Pradesh with nine NPs).
Raimona national park, located in Gossaigaon subdivision of Kokrajhar district under BTR, covers 422 square kilometre, where as Dehing Patkai national park covering 234.26 sq km rain forest land in the districts of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia in eastern Assam. State chief minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma commented that the flora & fauna in all these national parks are duly protected under various strict laws.
Meanwhile, demanding a credible probe into Assam’s Bamunipahar tragedy, where 18 wild Asiatic elephants were found dead, a Guwahati based activist journalist approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi for effective follow up actions. Sending a memorandum to PMO, scribe Biswajit Nath echoed the apprehension of many environment enthusiasts that the jumbos did not die because of any natural cause.
State forest department earlier claimed that all the elephants on Bamuni hillock in Nagaon district of central Assam died because of a lighting (thunderbolt) on the night of 12 May. But a large number of qualified engineers, conservation activists, common people denounced findings of the probe committee formed by the State government and claimed that it was planned murder.
Nature’s Beckon, a biodiversity conservation group, expressed serious doubts over its findings and demanded a high level scientific investigation involving experts from the field of Geology, Electrical Engineering, Science of Lightning (Thundering) along with the representatives from Zoological Survey of India, Wildlife Institute of India, Police department and civil society groups.
Another important aspect came to the light that forest department issued a no-objection certificate for a huge solar power project at Bamunipahar area, which is a recognised elephant habitat. The area has also witnessed various other human activities which indicates a probable cause for the killing of 18 elephants.
“Asiatic elephants are recognized as a Schedule one species and duly safeguarded under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. With more to it, the elephants in our society are adored as the symbol of Lord Ganesh (Ganapati or Vinayaka), one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. Admired son of Devi Parbati, Ganesh Prabhu is revered as the remover of all obstacles to devotees,” said Nath in the memorandum.
“So, if at all, the Bamunipahar elephants were killed for someone’s selfish interests, it would be a gross unfair for all of us to remain silent. Whoever the culprits, they must be punished under prescribed laws of the country,” asserted the nationalist journalist appealing PM Modi to take personal interests over the matter so that the people can get a sense of gratification over justice to the victim elephants.