North East

Assam takes steps to save Kaziranga from flooding

State plans flood-proofing structures, highlands in fringe areas

Guwahati, Jun 2 (UNI): In order to mitigate the effects of floods in the UNSECO heritage site Kaziranga National Park, the Assam government has decided to build highlands and flood-proofing structures in fringe areas to provide shelter to flood-affected people.

A review meeting was held among the senior government officials and state environment minister to formulate a long-term strategy to ward off the problem of erosion and excessive flooding in the national park.

Following threadbare discussion, the meeting resolved to build highlands vis-a-vis floodproofing structures, especially at Borbeel on the fringe of the park to provide shelter to the flood-affected people.

As a follow up of the flood preparedness meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at Kaziranga, Minister for Environment and Forest, Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister for Agriculture and Veterinary, Atul Bora and Minister for Water Resources, Piyush Hazarika met together along with senior officials of concerned departments to formulate short and long-term plans to mitigate the problem of erosion and excessive flooding in the national park.

Hazarika, the minister for water resources, said concrete steps would be taken to prevent erosion at Agartoli on the eastern range of the Kaziranga National Park covering a stretch of around 2 km.

“Necessary flood protection measures will be taken up to protect Kaziranga National Park, our pride and glory,” said Hazarika, adding that dredging will be carried out on the outer fringe of the park to prevent excessive flooding.

As flash flood takes place due to release of water from Doyang, Rongamati and Bhutan dams, the meeting decided to take up the matter with the concerned authorities so that water is not released simultaneously.

Hazarika said as one of the dams concerns Bhutan it would be placed before the Chief Minister for taking up the matter at appropriate level. Moreover, Commissioner and Secretary, Environment and Forest cum CEO, ASDMA, Gyanendra Tripathi informed that modelling is being done with coordinated protocols to streamline the release of water from dams within a month.

In this context, he said that a number of initiatives have been taken by the Environment and Forest department for disaster risk reduction.

Minister Suklabaidya directed the forest officials to share information regarding the release of water from dams with the Water Resources Department.

The meeting also discussed setting up helipads on the periphery of the national park for rescue operations of man-animals as well as for tourists.

Building a spacious guest house on a sprawling area close to the helipad also figured in the meeting.

It was decided to upgrade the veterinary sub-centre at Kohora to a hospital under SoPD funds for better treatment of animals.

Providing green fodder to the livestock living on the fringes of the park cropped up in the meeting.

Veterinary officials informed that vaccination of livestock is going on which would help to prevent wild animals from being infected.

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