Assam National Parks Face Funds Crisis

Nameri National Park
Ramki Sreenivasan

The Assamese government has failed to release funds required to manage the state’s national parks and sanctuaries. As a result, maintenance activities in all the five national parks – Kaziranga, Manas, Orang, Dibru-Saikhowa and Nameri, have come to a standstill. It has been more than six months since Dispur released these funds. Orang national park — the smallest — which needs about 10 lakhs per month, has seen 26 of the 42 casual workers leave. Officials at Kaziranga had a similar complaint and said the park was facing difficulties due to the shortage just before the tourist season began. Many homeguards deputed in the anti-poaching camps have left. The Kaziranga homeguards had staged a protest when the state forest minister had come for visit on October 28th, following which the minister had promised to release their salaries within a week. Mobile poaching camps at Dibru-Saikhowa have been non-functional for several months now, due to lack of funds to buy fuel for the boats.


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