DIGBOI, June 2: “The historic oil city of Digboi in Tinsukia district will soon have theregion’s largest and first of its kind forest museum-cum-nature’s interpretation centre at Digboi Panbari under Digboi forest division falling within the Upper Dehing Reserve Forest East Block,” said Ranjan Kumar Das, the Conservator of Forest Eastern Assam Circle.
Briefing about the projects in a nutshell, Das said that the foundation stone of the signature project of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal would be laid on June 5 on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
“Chief Minister Sonowal will would arrive in Digboi on the evening of June 4 and also participate in a series of programmes, including the plantation of saplings at Digboi Bogapani based Arboretum, laying of stone foundation of Tingrai Makum Ali rural road, release of Khatiyan, a sketch of developmental works of 123 Digboi Legislative Assembly Constituency, accomplished by BJP MLA Suren Phukan at Tingrai Bornamghar and finally address a public meeting at Tingrai auditorium,” MLA Suren Phukan told this correspondent. He added, “The Chief Minister will also sit with the AOD officials and discuss at length on various issues centring round refinery activities, besides visiting the various production sites and plants of the corporation.”
Meanwhile, hailing the Chief Minister’s signature project on Museum and Interpretation Centre in Digboi, RK Das said that Digboi being the right location, sharing a common bio-diversity with the rare rain forest of India, Dehing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, would serve the purpose of conservation, research and learning, besides promoting tourism in the area and creating avenues of employments opportunities.
“We are certain that it will have immense influence and will serve as an informative place for people, visitors, sightseers and enthusiasts. We anticipate that the centre will speak for the ones without a voice and will emphasize the importance of wildlife,” Das added.
Dehing-Patkai, declared as Wildlife Sanctuary in 2004, includes parts of Upper Dehing West reserve forest, Dirok rain forest and part of Jeypore, with a total size of this protected area standing at around 110 sq km. The forest covers part of both Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts and a part of the tract falling within Digboi Forest division too. The sanctuary is famous for Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests bordering Arunachal Pradesh. The sanctuary is a part of the Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve having the World War II cemeteries nearby, along with the Stillwell Road and the oldest refinery of Asia in Digboi and ‘open cast’ coal mining at Ledo. Researches and census by wildlife enthusiasts also revealed that that there are seven wild cat species found in the rain forest, which include tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, leopard cat, golden cat, jungle cat and marbled cat. About 46 species of mammals, 283 species of birds, 276 species of butterflies, 70 species of fish, 71 species of reptiles and 70 species of dragon flies are found in Dehing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.