The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary has been declared as a National Park by the forest department on Wednesday. With the up-gradation of Dehing Patkai, Assam has now 7 National Parks.
The chief minister said that this was a landmark step in environmental conservation and the newly declared national park will be another endeavour by the state to protect its rich flora and fauna.
The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 says whenever it appears to the state government that an area, whether within a sanctuary or not, is, by reason of its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, or zoological association of importance, need to be constituted as a national park for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment, The other national parks in Assam are- Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
Declaring Raimona as a national park, CM Sarma said that it’s a step taken towards fulfillment of the UN vision of ecosystem restoration.
Minister for Environment and Forest Parimal Suklabaidya said the announcement made by the chief minister has turned out to be a red letter day for the state and welcome news for wildlife lovers, nature lovers and conservationists.
The Raimona national park falls under BTR’s Kokrajhar district and is a part of contiguous forest patch with an area of 422 square km covering the northern part of the notified Ripu Reserve Forest which forms the westernmost buffer to Manas Tiger Reserve in the foothills of Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
The new national park will open up huge opportunities of ecotourism for the fringe villagers, who currently are partially or totally dependent on forest resources for their livelihood.
The Dehing Patkai forms the largest stretch of lowland rainforests in India. The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve under Project Elephant.