Recently, 02 new national parks in Assam has been notified adding to Assam’s total tally of seven National Parks.
Assam has become the second state in the country to have the highest number of National Parks after Madhya Pradesh.
About the 02 new national parks in Assam
Raimona National Park
- Recently declared as the 6th National Park of Assam
- Situated in Kokrajhar district under the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), bordering Bhutan.
- It covers the northern part of the notified Ripu Reserve Forest.
- Home to golden langur, Asian elephants, tigers, clouded leopards, Indian gaur, wild buffalo, spotted deer, hornbill.
- The other five national parks in the state are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
- With Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan to its north, Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal to its west and the first addition to Manas National Park to its east, Raimona lies in a 2300 square kilometres transboundary landscape.
- Part of the buffer of the Manas Tiger Reserve.
Dihing Patkai National Park
- Recently notified as 7th National Park of Assam.
- Falling in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts in upper Assam
- Contiguous stretch of forests, starting from Upper Dihing Reserve Forests in the East (under Digboi Division, Tinsukia District) up to the Jeypore RF (under Dibrugarh Division, Dibrugarh District),
- Comprises some pristine forests along the Assam-Arunachal interstate boundary
- Classified as Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests.
- Popularly known as Dihing Patkai Rain Forest.
- Dehing Patkai, dubbed the “Amazon of the East”, is the second-largest bio-diversity hotspot in the world.
- The area is especially a draw for ornithologists since it is said to have the highest concentration of the rare endangered White Winged Wood Duck.
- The Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary (notified in 2004) is located inside the larger Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, which spreads across Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Sivasagar districts of Upper Assam — rich in coal and oil — and is believed to be the last remaining contiguous patch of lowland rainforest area in Assam.
- With this addition, Assam became the 2nd state in the country to have 07 National Parks after Madhya Pradesh & Andaman and Nicobar Island which have 09 National Parks each.
Back to Basics
National Park declared by State Government
Section 35 – Declaration of National Parks – Section 35 of the Act lay down provision for declaration of National Parks. Section 35 states that a State Government can declare any area as National Park under the following conditions –
- When an area due to its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological or zoological association or importance needed to be protected, propagated or developed, than the state government by notification can declare such area as a National Park.
- The provisions of investigation and determination of claims and extinguishment of rights should apply to land or any area declared as a National Park.
- Boundaries of a National Park can only be altered by the State Government on a recommendation of the National Board.
- Any live-stock is not allowed to enter or graze in the National Park except live-stock used as a vehicle by any person authorized to enter National Park.
- The provisions of sections 27 and 28, 30 to 32 also apply to a National Park as they apply to a sanctuary.
- Destruction, removal or exploitation of any wildlife or habitat of any wildlife from a National Park cannot be done by anyone without a permit from the Chief Wild Life Warden. Permit can be granted only if the State Government is satisfied that destruction, exploitation or removal of wildlife from the National Park is for improving the management of wildlife in a National Park.
National Park declared by Central Government
Section 38 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 empowers the Central Government to declare any area as National Park or Sanctuaries. It provides that –
- If the conditions laid down in Section 35 are fulfilled for any area then the Central Government can declare such area to be a National Park and the provisions of sections 35, 54 and 55 should apply to such National Park as they apply to the National Park declared by the State Government.
- Director authorized by the Central Government or any officer authorized by the Director authorized by the Central Government can exercise the powers and duties of the Chief Wild Life Warden of the National Park or Sanctuary declared by the Central Government.
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