Raimona, Dihing Patkai notified as national parks of Assam

GUWAHATI, June 9: The Assam government has formally declared Raimona and Dehing Patkai as the sixth and seventh national parks of the state.

“Raimona and Dehing Patkai National Parks have been formally notified today, adding to Assam’s total tally of national parks to seven. Assam has now become the second state in the country, after Madhya Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (which have nine each), to have the highest number of national parks,” state forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya informed mediapersons here on Wednesday.

The five other national parks in Assam are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.

“The two newly created national parks will help to boost conservation efforts and provide fillip to tourism and agriculture sectors,” Suklabaidya said.

The Raimona National Park covering 422 square km is situated in Gossaigaon subdivision of Kokrajhar district and will be administered by Kachugaon Forest Division of Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam.

“With Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan to its north, Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal to its west and the first addition to Manas and Manas National Park to its east, Raimona lies in a 2300 sq km transboundary landscape which is essential for long ranging wildlife like elephants and tigers,” the minister said.

The area is already a part of buffer of the Manas Tiger Reserve and home to the Golden Langur, elephant, tiger, Clouded Leopard, Indian gaur, wild buffalo, spotted deer, hornbill, several species of orchids and has more than 150 species of butterflies, 170 species of birds besides 380 species of plants.

“Conservation of this area shall provide water security to more than 20 lakh people downstream in Kokrajhar and Dhubri district and open opportunities in promotion of community-based tourism, focused wildlife management and ensure biodiversity for future generations,” the minister said.

The Dehing Patkai National Park, spread across 234.26 square kilometres, is a contiguous stretch of forests, starting from Upper Dihing Reserve Forests in the East (under Digboi Division, Tinsukia district) up to the Jeypore RF (under Dibrugarh Division, Dibrugarh district).

It comprises some pristine forests along the Assam-Arunachal interstate boundary, classified as Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests.

The newly notified national park shall be administered by the Soraipung range of Digboi Division and Jeypore range of Dibrugarh Division.

Additional anti-poaching camps and manpower are being provided by the state government for intensive patrolling and conservation of the new area.

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