Context: The State government notified Dihing Patkai as a National Park, four days after creating the 422-sq. km Raimona National Park in western Assam’s Kokrajhar district.

Key Points:

  • The “last remaining stretches” of the Assam Valley tropical wet evergreen forests have become Assam’s seventh National Park.
  • The five older National Parks in the State are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
  • Kaziranga and Manas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 
    • They are also tiger reserves along with Nameri and Orang.
  • The 234.26-sq. km Dihing Patkai straddling eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts.
    • It is a major elephant habitat and 310 species of butterflies have been recorded there.
    • The park has 47 species each of reptiles and mammals, including the tiger and clouded leopard.
  • The forest village area diverted under the Forest Conservation Act has been excluded.
  • Short stretches of the Dirak and Buri Dihing rivers have been included in the park.

Illegal coal mining in the area:

  • Dihing Patkai, in focus a year ago for illegal coal mining in the vicinity.
    • It encompasses: 
      • The erstwhile Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, 
      • The Jeypore Reserve Forest and 
      • The western block of the Upper Dihing Reserve Forest.

Related Facts:

National Park:

  • They are the areas that are set by the government to conserve the natural environment.
  • A national park has more restrictions as compared to a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Their boundaries are fixed and defined.
  • The main objective of a national park is to protect the natural environment of the area and biodiversity conservation.

 What is allowed and what is not allowed inside National Parks:

  • Here, no human activity is allowed.
  • Grazing of livestock and private tenurial rights are not permitted here.
  • Species mentioned in the Schedules of the Wildlife Act are not allowed to be hunted or captured.
  • No person shall destroy, remove, or exploit any wildlife from a National Park or destroy or damage the habitat of any wild animal or deprive any wild animal of its habitat within a national park.
  • They cannot be downgraded to the status of a ‘sanctuary’.

Declaration of National Parks:

  • National parks can be declared both by the Central Government and State governments. 
  • No alteration of the boundaries of a national park shall be made except on a resolution passed by the State Legislature.

Source: The Hindu