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Assam gets Dehing Patkai  National Park

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21st Dec 2020 | Get In Lamka | Guwahati Correspondent

Guwahati:  As committed by the State
government in Dispur, the process of upgrading the  Dehing Patkai
wildlife Sanctuary to a national park has begun with an aim to protect
a huge area of virgin rainforest in eastern Assam adjoining Arunachal
Pradesh.
Assam Governor, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 35(1
& 2) of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 as amended up-to-date, has
already issued a preliminary notification stating that Dispur intends
to constitute Dehing Patkai National Park upgrading the Dehing Patkai
wildlife Sanctuary.
In order to inquire into and determine the existence, nature and
extent of rights of any person in or over the land comprised within
the determined limits for constituting the national park, the district
magistrates of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh have been appointed to act as
collectors under the wildlife protection laws for their respective
districts.
Reacting to a public uproar during the Covid-19 pandemic induced
national lockdown, State chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal assured all
possible means to protect the sanctuary and he clearly stated Dispur
would not allow coal mining inside the forest reserve.
The public outcry was against the alleged approval of open- cast coal
mining inside Dehing Patkai sanctuary by the Centre few months back. A
large number of environmental enthusiasts, celebrities, social
activists, media personalities, conscious individuals, etc from Assam
and outside the region campaigned in  the social media space angst the
proposed mining. Members belonged to the All Assam Students’ Union,
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity along with various political leaders also
joined in the movement. Even some militant leaders also joined in the
chorus.
Nature’s Beckon, an environment activist group of the region has
welcomed the decision to expand the area of Dehing Patkai sanctuary
and subsequently up-gradate to a national park. The conservation group
appreciates CM Sonowal for his affective role in paving the way for
preserving the forestland as Dehing Patkai National Park comprising
the most beautiful Jeypore rainforest. It also acknowledged the
efforts of countless supporters, forest lovers and well wishers for
realising the mission.
“The protection of 231.65 sq km of the largest tropical rainforest a
national park is a revolutionary event in the history of India’s
nature conservation initiatives,” said Soumyadeep Datta, director of
Nature’s Beckon, which introduced the people of India this rare
rainforest patch of Assam  for the first time.
He added that since 1994 the organization started mobilizing a public
movement to raise voices for complete protection of this rich
rainforest. In fact, the movement was known as the ‘rainforest
conservation movement of Assam’. In 2004, a small portion of the
rainforest was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary even though
the most luxuriant part Jeypore reserve forest was kept outside the
sanctuary.
According to the group, Jeypore rainforest alone gives shelter to over
200 elephants and it is an ideal natural habitat for Hoolock Gibbons.
Other notable wildlife species Slow Loris, Gaur, Tiger, Leopard,
Clouded Leopard, Golden Cat, Fishing Cat, Marble Cat, Sambar, Hog
Deer, Sloth Bear, Binturong, Sotted Linsang, Sultan Tit, Hill Myna,
Green Imperial Pigeon, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Oriental Pied Hornbill,
Great Hornbill, White Winged Duck, Yellow Monitor, Burmese Python,
etc.
The evil nexus of some politicians, government officials and a section
of individuals existed to  destroy Jeypore reserve forest for their
selfish interests. Dispur took a decisive stand against the coal,
crude oil and timber mafias. The group also remembers the positive
commitments by Coal India Ltd and Oil India Ltd towards nature
conservation.
Nature’s Beckon offers heartfelt thanks to State forest minister
Parimal Suklabaidya, BJP’s top leader Phanindra Nath Sarma, saffron
party spokesperson Pabitra Margherita, State publication board
secretary Pramod Kalita, State tourism development corporation chief
Jayanta Malla Barua, CM’s media advisor Hrishikesh Goswami for their
relentless efforts to make it happen.
At the same time, it offers  gratitude to Assam’s principal chief
conservator of forest Arvind Madhav Singh along with many responsible
officials including Dibrugarh divisional forest officer  Pradipta
Barua, former Digboi divisional officer Ashikur Rahman and present
officer TS Ranjit as well as all forest guards and casual workers both
the divisions.
Earlier, Patriotic People’s Front Assam applauded the government for
relentless efforts to make it happen with an aim to protect  large
varieties of flora & fauna conserving the pristine rainforests in
eastern Himalayan region, which is often termed as Amazon of the East.
The forum of nationalists also expressed hope that the initiative
would help in safeguarding a huge stretch of contiguous virgin
forestlands.

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