From a Correspondent
KAZIRANGA, Oct 1: State Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma reopened the Kaziranga tiol Park (KNP) for tourists at Mihimukh in the park’s Kohora forest range at around 6.30 am on Saturday.
Larli Brahma, daughter of State Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, and State Agriculture Minister Atul Bora also attended the opening ceremony. A bike rally with a slogan ‘We will save rhino’ was also taken out on the highway to mark the opening ceremony of the UNESCO’s world heritage site.
According to the instructions given by Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, KNP was opened for tourists a month earlier than scheduled. “There was a demand from local residents and the hospitality sector to prepone the opening date and the Chief Minister also wanted it,” said Pramila Rani Brahma.
Several hotel operators alleged that due to idequate publicity about the change in schedule, very few tourists were turning up. “We hope more tourists will come soon,” they said.
This year’s floods had submerged nearly 100 per cent of the park’s 430-sq km area. Over hundreds of wild animals, including two dozen rhinos, died due to floods. Movement of the animals towards higher ground for safety encourages poaching as well. This year too, some of the dead rhinos were found with their horns missing.
“There were allegations against the previous Congress government of remaining blind towards poaching of rhinos. In contrast, our BJP government in Assam has launched a drive against poachers. Kaziranga is Assam’s pride. Action against poachers will continue,” said local MLA and State Agriculture Minister Atul Bora.