With rhino poachers creating havoc in the Kaziranga National Park, the Assam government has sent a proposal to the Union government for raising a Rhino Protection Force with more than 1,200 personnel while National Investigative Agency’s help would be sought to bust the international rhino-poaching racket.
Poachers have killed at least five rhinos in the KNP so far this year while over 40 rhinos were killed in 2014.
Attending a review meeting on the anti-poaching measures and other related issues at Kohora Range of KNP, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that his government has already sent a proposal to the Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar and hoped that the new force would be raised very soon.
Gogoi said such a specialised force would facilitate use of modern technology for curbing the menace of poaching. For up scaling anti-poaching infrastructure, high end equipment such as night vision devices, thermal scanners, surveillance cameras, GPS etc. would be deployed at the earliest.
Gogoi asked KNP authorities to take the help of the NIA to deal with the rhino poachers and bust clandestine rhino horn trade routes across inter-state and international borders.
The chief minister's gallantry award would be instituted for the forest guards showing exemplary services in curbing poaching of rhinos. Also the chief minister's award for wildlife conservation would be instituted from this year for exemplary services rendered in the field of wildlife conservation and ant-poaching activities.
Gogoi announced that he would soon constitute a development authority for the KNP landscape under his chairmanship to address the issues of conservation and development.
He said that the local people should be provided green development opportunities and livelihood options in tune with wildlife conservation.
He announced that a state of the art wildlife museum with modern 3D shows, tea tourism and tea museum to be taken up in KNP. He asked the park authorities to explore possibilities of promoting off season tourism through eco-tourism and traditional activities such as weaving handicraft etc.