Assam govt okays second wildlife sanctuary in Barak Valley
Second wildlife sanctuary in Assam

Silchar: Assam’s Barak Valley has been in news off late for the catastrophic floods, but the region’s effort to conserve its forests and rivers received a shot in the arm, with Governor Jagdish Mukhi approving a proposal for the creation of Barak Bhuban Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Barak Valley is currently home to the Barail Wildlife Sanctuary.

“In exercise of the power conferred by Section 35 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 as amended up to date, the Governor of Assam is pleased to declare its intention to constitute the area described in the Schedule annexed hereto as the Barak Bhuban Wildlife Sanctuary,” an official order dated July 19 stated.

The Barak Bhuban Wildlife Sanctuary will be over an area of 320 sq km, and will be located between the Barak river and the Sonai river.

“The Governor of Assam further hereby appoints the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar, Silchar, to enquire into and determine the existence, the nature and extent of any rights/claims alleged to exist in favour of any person or persons, in or over any land within the limit described in the schedule below,” the order said.

The area has eight recorded species of primates — slow loris, rhesus macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, Assamese macaque, capped langur, phayre’s leaf monkey and hoolock gibbon.

It’s also an important habitat for king cobra, according to the Cachar Forest Division.

The proposal for the creation of the sanctuary was submitted by BJP MP from Silchar Rajdeep Roy last year.

With the idea now set to become a reality, Roy said he is very happy.

“The NDA government headed by the BJP takes decisions very fast and also implements them very fast. So, I am 100 per cent confident that this will not take months after months for changes to take place at the ground level. I assume that within the next three to six months, a lot of changes will be seen on this project,” Roy told PTI.

Asked how the sanctuary will benefit the Barak Valley, he said a Shiva temple is located near the site where the Bhuban Wildlife Sanctuary is proposed to be created and these two together can help draw tourists and create employment opportunities.

“So, (with) the sanctuary and the temple in the same vicinity, we can get a lot of small business houses to start small businesses. Maybe slowly and slowly, the hotel industry and other things will come… a viable ecosystem can develop and I think the people around this place will ultimately benefit if the sanctuary is established,” he added.

Named after the second-largest river in the northeast, the Barak Valley is home to 550 species of birds and 100 species of mammals.

It comprises three districts — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj.

(With inputs from PTI)

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