Field gear distributed during the ceremony on Saturday Credit: EastMojo image

Kachugaon: Keeping the commitment of “Bringing Back Manas”, 300 frontline forest staff and NGO volunteers were supported with essential field gear at a ceremonial schedule organised jointly by Assam Forest Department (AFD), Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) with the support of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) on Saturday.

Frontline forest staff of Raimona Range (Western), Central Range (Kachugaon), Sanfan Range and Athiabari Range (Eastern) including the 105 service providers of Green Forest Conservation under the Kachugaon Division were given winter jackets, sleeping bags and assorted field equipment.

The gears included 300 winter jackets, 100 sleeping bags, 20 rechargeable torch lights, 500 copies of Handbook on the 6th Edition of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, in the Assamese language along with inverter sets.

This is initiative bids to boost the morale and enhance anti-poaching patrolling conducted by the frontline staff of Manas Tiger Reserve.

The chief guest of the event, Ranjit Basumatary, Executive Member, Forest, Bodoland Territorial Council said, “Manas is a unique example that proved to bring the old heritage back by a multi-stakeholder approach in wildlife conservation. It is my privilege to be a part of this unique opportunity to share responsibilities with our frontline forest staff under Kachugaon division.”

Highlighting the context of proposed Raimona National Park, he appealed to the state government for immediate notification in the official gazette about the proposed National Park.

BTC Forest department has already submitted the proposal to the Assam government for notification of ‘Raimona National Park’ covering 422 sq km area, a major chunk of Ripu Reserve Forest. The area has a century-old history of management of forest having scope for conservation both at a landscape and transboundary level with neighbouring Bhutan.

Anindya Swargowari, IFS, APCCF and CHD, Forest, BTC along with Raju Kumar Brahma, DFO, Kachugaon, other forest Range Officers, the frontline staff and local NGO members were also present along with the staff of WTI during the ceremonial distribution of the basic gears.

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