Over 3,000 hectares added to Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam
Assam government on Thursday approved the addition of over 3,000 hectares (ha) to the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR).
The 7th, 8th and 9th additions to the park were published in preliminary notifications by the state government and include areas from where encroachment has been removed and suitable wildlife habitat in riverine islands.
“It is a move to consolidate the wildlife areas anticipating better wildlife conservation and reduction in human-wildlife negative interactions in future,” said a release issued by forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya’s office.
The new additions include 176 ha at Deosur, Palkhowa in Deosur protected reserve forest, 307 ha at Banderdubi - both in Nagaon district and 2570 ha at Mokua Chapori in Sonitpur district.
“With the new additions, the total area of the park will increase to 914 sq km. The last addition to the park was in 2016 when 195 sq km at Bura Chapori, which connected Kaziranga with Orang National Park,” said P Sivakumar, director of KNPTR.
“The 7th and 8th additions will connect Kaziranga with nearby Karbi Anglong district and the 9th addition will connect KNPTR with Nameri National Park. The fresh additions will help the movement of tigers from Kaziranga to Nameri and Orang and vice versa,” he added.
The preliminary notifications on the fresh additions to the KNPTR comes less than a month after the Gauhati High Court had directed the principal chief conservator of forests (Wildlife) and chief wildlife warden, Assam to submit a report on action taken on evictions of encroachments in areas earlier added to the park.
On October 9, 2015, the HC had ordered evictions of encroached areas in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th additions to the KNPTR.
“A total of 39,836.74 ha of the notified evicted areas have been delivered to the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) authority. However, possession of 1461.59 ha of land in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th to the KNP in the districts of Golaghat and Biswanath is yet to be handed over,” the August 17 letter by HC Registrar (Judicial) RA Tapadar stated.
“You are, therefore, requested to submit a fresh ‘Action Taken Report’ with regards to the delivery of possession of the remaining land to the KNP authority on or before 23-11-2020,” it added.
Kaziranga is the biggest habitat of endangered one-horned rhinos in the world. The park has around 2,400 rhinos and 121 tigers.