Guwahati: Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the submerged areas of Kaziranga National Park in a motorboat via Mora Difalu River under Bagori Range of the Park and took stock of the condition of marooned animals. He also enquired on measures taken by the Park authority to ensure their protection on Thursday.
During his one-and-half hour boat ride at the flood-hit areas of the Park, the Chief Minister witnessed the animals that are taking shelter at the highlands constructed by the State government at the Park.
He also went to the flood-affected forest camps at Gorakati, Mora Difalu and Mur Phuloni. He interacted with the forest guards who are carrying out strict surveillance of the Park braving all odds to ensure the marooned animals safety.
While interacting with media persons during the visit, the chief minister said that the State government built the highlands at Kaziranga National Park to ensure the protection of wildlife during the flood. He said that the purpose of the highlands has been successful as large numbers of animals have taken shelter there to protect themselves from floodwaters.
The chief minister also thanked the people living in the adjoining areas of the national park for their help to the forest department in ensuring the protection of the animals.
He also lauded the role of the districts administration of Nagaon, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, Sonitpur and Biswanath for their proactive measures for the protection of animals. Further, given many animals crossing over to the hills of Karbi Anglong district during this flood, the chief minister directed the administration of the hilly district to take all necessary measures to ensure their protection and safe return to the park once flood water recedes.
The chief minister said that the State experienced a third wave of flood that has affected 28 districts destroying vast tract of agricultural land and damaging private and public properties. Besides, more than 80 lives were also lost during flood so far this year, he said.
The chief minister said that the State is simultaneously fighting COVID-19 and flood and erosion and exuded confidence to win over the crisis with the cooperation of the people. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and DONER minister Dr Jitendra Singh for their help and support during this challenging time and constant supervision. The chief minister also said that the State government made all efforts to provide relief to the flood-affected families. He noted that social distancing norms had been followed at the flood relief camps, and the inmates were provided masks. Besides, medical check-up of the inmates were also carried out, and fodder has been provided to all flood-affected domestic animals.
Noteworthy that prior to visiting flood-hit Kaziranga National Park, chief minister Sonowal visited a flood relief camp at Rising Sun English School at Kohora.
Altogether 251 inmates are taking shelter there. The chief minister also handed over ex-gratia cheques amounting to Rs. 4 lakh each to the next of kin of Babu Kheria and Sarbeswar Doley under Bokakhat sub-division who died due to drowning during the flood.
Chief minister Sonowal also visited the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Barjuri near Kaziranga National Park and took stock of measures taken for animals and facilities available at the centre. Agriculture minister Atul Bora, water resources minister Keshav Mahanta, MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and MLA Rituparna Baruah also accompanied the chief minister during his visit to the Park.