While opening the world famous Kaziranga National Park (KNP) on the south bank of the mighty Brahmaputra for both domestic and foreign tourists for the year 2020-21 today, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal expressed hope that the state’s tourism sector would be revived after the Covid-19 induced lockdown situation for many months.
He also stated that the unemployed youths in and around KNP would find employment again through jeep & elephant safari and other tourism activities. The jeep safari at Kohora and Bagori ranges started today while other two ranges would be opening by November.
Referring to one time financial assistance provided to people engaged in jeep safari by the government to alleviate their economic stress brought by the pandemic, Sonowal assured more such initiatives in future.
He called on the people of the five districts covered by KNP and the local communities residing in the surrounding areas of the park to extend full hospitality to the visitors coming from outside so that the best picture of the state could be presented to the outside world. At the same time, he asked everyone to maintain all Covid-19 protocols while visiting the park and other such places of tourist interests. Highlighted the achievement of the government in stopping rhino poaching in all forest reserves of Assam to a great extend in last four and half years, Sonowal thanked the people of the nearby areas for extending their full cooperation in the endeavour. He also urged the media persons to spread the news of opening of KNP for the season so that tourists from India and abroad could arrive and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
It may be mentioned that KNP in central Assam is widely acclaimed as it gives shelter to over 2,400 rhinos (officially known as Indian rhinoceros and greater onehorned rhinoceros), which amounts two third of world one-horn rhino populaces.
Rhinos are recognised as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and India’s wildlife protection Act gives enormous power to the rangers for protecting the grass-eating pachyderm.
After the formal opening the park, Sonowal took a jeep safari with the local legislator & state agriculture minister Atul Bora, State water resources minister Keshab Mahanta, State industries & commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, PCCF (wildlife) AM Singh with others