Flood submerges 90% of Kaziranga, Assam imposes restrictions

Kaziranga National Park

Guwahati, July 15 (IANS) With the flood waters submerging 90 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park, the Assam government has imposed speed restrictions on a stretch of National Highway 37 and prohibitory orders to safeguard the animals in the area.

Authorities have started issuing time cards at various check points for regulating vehicular speed to 40 km per hour on NH 37.

The time card system was started after two hog deer were killed by speeding vehicles at NH 37 in last 24 hours, a senior park official said adding that different agencies including the police, transport and civil administration have joined hands to control speed of vehicles on NH 37, that touches the southern boundary of the park.

According to the official, the speed restrictions are needed as some of the animals stray outside the park, particularly to head towards higher land in adjoining areas of Karbi Anglong, and are either injured or killed by speeding vehicles while trying to cross the NH 37.

He also said that out of the 199 anti-poaching camps inside Kaziranga, 155 have already been submerged and guards have started patrolling the park by country boats and machine boats.

“Emergency response teams have been constituted in each range of the park to react immediately in cases of emergency. The teams equipped with mobile and wireless sets are on the move along the NH-37 and other public roads within their respective range jurisdiction to regulate the movement of vehicular traffic and to facilitate migration of wildlife to high areas located along the southern boundary of Kaziranga,” he added.

“To reduce mortality of migratory wildlife poached for meat and horn, the civil authorities of Bokakhat and Kaliabor Sub-Divisions promulgated Section 144 (of the Criminal Procedure Code) prohibiting carrying of lethal weapons, fire arms as well as bows and arrows,” he said.

The government had deployed the newly-inducted Rhino Protection Force in and around the sensitive areas of the national park to stop any poaching attempt of the rhinos and other wildlife during the deluge.

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