Assam’s Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary to get National Park status
Once the sanctuary is given the National Park Status by the government, it will guarantee the protection of the flora and fauna and better management of Dehing Patkai.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on July 6 announced that the government has decided that Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary will soon be upgraded into National Park. The decision was made at a meeting that CM had with the government officials.
The proposal to upgrade sanctuary in a National park will be submitted to the central government. In most of the cases, centre does not veto such a proposal from a state government.
Assam Chief Minister has also directed the forest department to prepare a draft notification and to hold public hearings in order to take views of the local dwellers regarding the upgradation who are residing around the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Our Govt has decided to upgrade the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, which is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna, to a National Park.— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) July 6, 2020
In a meeting with senior officials in Guwahati today, I have directed them to take necessary steps in this regard. pic.twitter.com/cUV5HKBwPb
What will be the benefit of getting National park status?
Once the sanctuary is given the National Park Status by the government, it will guarantee the protection of the flora and fauna and better management of Dehing Patkai which forms the largest stretch of lowland rainforest in the country. With the status, there will be a flow of more funds which is expected to boost the infrastructure of the sanctuary.
Long demand for the upgradation:
A section of lawyers and conservationists have been fighting demanding the sanctuary’s upgradation to the National Park.
One of the conservationists, Apurba Ballav Goswami has written extensively demanding the sanctuary’s upgradation. He welcomed the government’s decision and mentioned that Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is Assam’s Amazon and the National Park Status will surely go a long way.
He further added that it is a virgin rainforest rich in bio-diversity and someday it can also be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He also highlighted that the coal mining in the sanctuary’s vicinity will now come to an end.
The Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve which surrounds the Sanctuary was recently in the controversy. The state government had given preliminary approval to Coal India to mine it despite of the fact that the PSU has been carrying out illegal mining inside the forest for 16 years.
Later, Guwahati High Court had admitted a PIL challenging the decision.
About Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary:
The sanctuary is located in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of Assam. The Sanctuary covers an area of 111.19 Km2 rainforests.
The forest further spreads over in the Changlang and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Dehing Patkai was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary in 2004. The sanctuary is home to 47 reptiles, 47 mammals, and 310 butterflies.