Assam: Home Guards at Manas National Park Protest for Salary Enhancement

Around 120 home guards at Assam's Manas National Park protested for higher salaries, which were raised to Rs 700 per day last year but remained unpaid, allegedly.
Assam: Home Guards at Manas National Park Protest for Salary Enhancement

GUWAHATI: Around 120 home guards, responsible for security at Assam's Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve, have staged a protest seeking an increase in their salaries.

The protest, which began on Thursday, saw these home guards demonstrating within the national park premises on Friday, advocating for higher remuneration.

Manas Park Field Director Rajen Choudhury, in conversation with the news agency IANS, explained the situation, saying, "Previously, the home guards were receiving a daily wage of Rs 200. However, in October of the previous year, the state government raised their daily wage to Rs 700. Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints, the monthly payments to these home guards have remained pending since last October."

Choudhury further added that the budget approval was granted just a week ago, and the necessary processes for salary disbursement are currently in progress.

"I met with the protesters and assured them that their salaries will be disbursed as soon as possible. We are optimistic that they will withdraw their protest," he stated.

It is worth mentioning here that the Forest Department enlists the services of home guards for park duties due to a shortage of forest staff at the local divisional office.

In this context, it maybe noted that Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve, nestled in the serene landscape of Assam, India, is preparing to reopen its gates for the eagerly awaited 2023-2024 tourist season on October 1. The park had been temporarily closed to visitors since June 5, 2023, as a precautionary measure during the monsoon season, ensuring both the safety of tourists and the preservation of its natural beauty.

The much-anticipated announcement regarding the park's reopening was made by the esteemed Field Director of Manas National Park, Rajen Choudhury. This official communiqué was issued on Tuesday last, setting the stage for nature enthusiasts and wildlife aficionados to once again explore the rich biodiversity of this sanctuary. In his statement, Mr. Choudhury emphasized that the reopening of Manas National Park would be conducted in strict compliance with the relevant provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 and the Assam Wildlife (Protection) Rules of 1997. These legal safeguards are instrumental in ensuring that the park's precious flora and fauna are protected while offering an immersive and responsible ecotourism experience to visitors.

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