Context: The Assam government recently decided to upgrade Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary into a national park.
More on the news:
- The announcement comes just months after the National Board of Wildlife’s (NBWL) conditional clearance to a coal mining project by Coal India Limited (CIL) in the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve sparked a spate of virtual protests in the state.
About Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary:
- The Dehing Patkai is a 111.942 sq km Wildlife Sanctuary, which spreads across the coal- and oil-rich districts of Upper Assam (Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Sivasagar) and is believed to be the last remaining contiguous patch of lowland rainforest area in Assam.
- The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary and a part of Dehing Patkai Rainforest, due to their importance for elephant habitat, were declared as Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve under Project Elephant.
- It is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna and was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2004. It is also the place with the highest concentration of the rare endangered White Winged Wood Duck.
- Post upgradation, Dehing Patkai will be the sixth national park in Assam — the other five being Kaziranga, Nameri, Manas, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
Procedure to designate a Wildlife sanctuary into a National park:
According to the Wildlife Protection Act, between the draft proposal and final notification, the time for public hearings, listening to stakeholders, neighbouring villages, considering their queries, and making settlements etc, will be required.
- While wildlife sanctuaries are protected areas which permit some activities such as grazing, national parks call for a complete protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- Its importance will increase and new rules will bring increased vigilance to the area.
Image Source: ET