Assam floods: Ninety per cent of Kaziranga National Park still submerged

Over 150 anti-poaching camps in the park are affected by the floods and the authorities are working round-the-clock to check the poaching at the UNESCO World Heritage site, officials said.

Published: 17th July 2019 01:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2019 12:29 PM   |  A+A-

One-horned rhinoceros seen moving to an elevated area following floods due to incessant monsoon rainfall in Kaziranga National Park Tuesday July 16 2019. | PTI

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI:  Ninety per cent of Kaziranga National Park — home to the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceros — in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state is still submerged, a statement from the Assam Ministry of Forest and Environment said.

Over 150 anti-poaching camps in the park are affected by the floods and the authorities are working round-the-clock to check the poaching at the UNESCO World Heritage site, officials said.

On Tuesday, Assam Minister Naba Kumar Doley visited the National Park and took stock of the situation. Thirty animals, including rhinos, hog deer and wild boars died in the floods while some of them were died after being hit by moving vehicles. 

The staff and security personnel are performing their duties using mechanised and country boats. Besides forest guards, a State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) team were engaged alongside Assam Police personnel in vulnerable spots of the park, Divisional Forest Officer, Kaziranga National Park (KNP), Rohini Ballab Saikia said.  

VIEW GALLERY | Floods wreak havoc in Assam, over 40 lakh people affected

The press communique said 155 of the 199 anti-poaching camps at the KNP are affected by floodwaters.

Though 90 per cent of the KNP is submerged, the water level inside the park and the adjoining NH-37 has receded to some extent, restoring the movement of heavy vehicles on the highway on Tuesday.

However, passenger buses were not being allowed to drive through the park, Saikia said.

Till now, six accidents have been reported on the national highway, causing the death of five Hog Deer and a Sambar, the communique said. Five other animals in the park are reported to have succumbed to injuries “for various reasons due to flood”, it said.

“Teams for rescue operation of distressed animals, as per necessity, are kept in readiness,” the communique said.

Centre gives Rs 252 crore aid to Assam

The first wave of floods in Assam has claimed 17 lives so far, including four deaths on Tuesday. Two other people lost their lives in landslides. Altogether 44.96 lakh people have been affected in the state’s 33 districts.

Also Watch: Assam floods: Kaziranga National Park still entirely submerged

The Centre on Tuesday released a grant-in-aid of Rs 251.55 crore to the Assam government as the first instalment.

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas on Tuesday and also reviewed the flood situation with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to the CM on Monday. Most rivers in the state are flowing above the danger level.

Water from the Brahmaputra inundated several localities in Guwahati, creating panic among the residents.

The last time the water of the mighty river entered the city was in 2004. Road connectivity to various districts has also snapped due to floodwaters.

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