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Friday, June 8, 2012

Move to set up tiger reserve

SARAT SARMA Nagaon, June 5: Dispur plans to set up a tiger reserve covering 1,050 square km in the eastern Bokajan subdivision of Karbi Anglong district. Four wildlife sanctuaries and five reserve forests will be included in the area, which is connected to Kaziranga. Forest minister Rakibul Hussain told The Telegraph that the plan, which will be implemented in collaboration with the Tiger Foundation of India, also aims at making the area tourism friendly. “We met the leaders of the local autonomous council last Thursday and the department officials were instructed to prepare a detailed project report. We shall have another discussion with forest department officials, representatives from the WWF and Tiger Foundation in Diphu shortly, where the proposed project will be given final shape,” Hussain said. Four wildlife sanctuaries in bordering Bokajan subdivision of the hill district — Garampani, Nambor, Karbi Anglong East and Karbi Anglong North — are known for the various species of animals found there. The WWF had traced the movements of the Royal Bengal tiger, golden cat, clouded leopard and other animals a few months ago. “Our target is to uplift the current ecological condition in the area to make the region favourable for tiger movement,” said the chief conservator of forests Abhijit Rabha. A high-level source of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council said the recent discussion with the forest minister regarding the tiger reserve was held after long study and research. “It is an initiative that might make Karbi Anglong more attractive to tourists. We are designing the tiger reserve project keeping tourism in mind,” the source said. Hussain said Dispur has planned two other important programmes for Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao — one to curb jhum cultivation and the second, a mass plantation scheme. “Farmers involved in jhum cultivation will be centred in an area and involved in some other ways of cultivation. All line departments, including agriculture, forest, DRDA and soil conservation, will be involved,” Hussain said.

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