The Government of Assam, in an initiative to protect wild animals including rhinos and to fight poaching has announced a set of measures to be implemented soon.
1. Appointment of 104 forest constables. The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananada Sonowal, directed the Chief Conservator of Forests, Darash Mathur to declare the results for the posts of forest and confirm appointment of 104 personnel who can start their training immediately and serve as forest constables.
2. Compensation to families affected by man-animal conflict.The government of the North east Indian state has also announced compensation and one-time ex-gratia to 14279 families affected by man-animal conflict according to standard procedure. The Chief Minister directed that the compensation be disbursed within 100 days.
3. Feasibility study to keep Kaziranga open all year round. The Chief conservator of Forests has been asked to conduct a feasibility study and prepare a report regarding the option of keeping Kaziranga National Park open to visitors the whole year round.
4. Forest resource usage report. A consolidated report on the requirement of forest resources for all districts is also to be prepared and submitted within 15 days.
5. Empowering citizens to protect forests. The next measure is one which includes the participation of citizens and their skill development. About 1500 youth belonging to the fringe villages of reserved forest areas are to be trained on protection of wildlife and its habitat on a priority basis.
6. Massive tree plantantion drive. About 1.25 crore saplings are to be planted in 6800 hectares of land along with bringing out coppice forest management for sal trees in Kamrup, Gorakhpur and Kokrajhar.
7. Action against illegal saw mills. The next step in the list is the action against all illegal sawmills. About 63 illegal mills have already been closed down since the new government came into power.
8. Mass Fencing of reserve forests. Yet another major exercise is the mass fencing of the boundary of the reserve forests.
It is hoped that these measures will all be implemented at the earliest and not merely be on paper and the rhinos of Kaziranga get a new lease of life.
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