Diverse wildlife rich Raimona in western Assam’s Kokrajhar district has been notified as the state’s sixth national park on the occasion of the World Environment Day on Saturday.
Attending the World Environment Day programme at Gandhi Mandap in Guwahati, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state government has decided to upgrade Raimona Sanctuary in BTR (Bodoland Territorial Region) to a national park.
He said : “Work is also underway to give national park status to Dehing Patkai. Science & Technology Department of the state government is being rechristened as Department of Science, Technology and Climate Change, from today (Saturday).”
State Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that a statutory notification declaring 422 sq km Raimona as a national park was brought out on Saturday.
“Upgrading of Dehing Patkai (in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts) has been a much awaited aspiration for the conservation of rainforest and elephant habitats,” Suklabaidya said.
The existing five national parks in Assam are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
The Raimona National Park in Kokrajhar district along West Bengal and Bhutan, has a variety of wildlife including Golden Langur, Asian elephant, tiger, clouded leopard, Indian gaur, wild buffalo, spotted deer, hornbill, more than 150 species of butterflies, 170 species of birds, 380 species of plants and many species of orchids.
Forest official said :”Raimona has close proximity of the forested areas of Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park in Bhutan (total area of 1,999 sq km) creating a transboundary conservation landscape of more than 2,400 sq km.”
“Such protected transboundary ecological settings would ensure the long-standing conservation of wild and endangered species like the golden langur, (mascot of Bodoland Territorial Council) and Asian elephant, the Bengal tiger and a diverse flora and fauna,” the officials said.
Raimona is a vital part of the 2,837 sq km Manas Biosphere Reserve and the Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve.