Guwahati, February 25: In a bid to keep the world famous one-horned rhinoceros of Assam under global spotlight, the State Government has decided to commemorate September 22 as ‘Rhino Day‘. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while mooting the idea at the 10th meeting of State Board for Wildlife in the conference room of Chief Minister’s office in Janata Bhawan, maintained that a day exclusively dedicated to the approximately 2500 rhino population in the state will be a tribute to the rhinoceros which are the ‘Pride of Assam’.
He also said that a State Rhino Project will be launched in the state for the protection and conservation of rhinos, in line with National Rhino Project. Taking a grim view of the deaths of elephants caused by railway accidents recently, CM Sonowal asked the Board to initiate a survey of elephant corridors in the state with the help of WWF. “Identifying and mapping the elephant corridors throughout the state and taking remedial steps would greatly help in preventing accident related deaths of elephants” he said. Sonowal also informed that once elephant corridor mapping in completed, he would hold a meeting with the Railway Ministry to take remedial steps like creating tunnels or overpass for the elephants.
Moreover, discussions were also held to set up an exclusive Institute of Wildlife Health and Research to study diseases of wild animals and suggest appropriate treatment mechanism.
Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, Chief Minister’s Legal Advisor Shantanu Bharali, CEM, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Tuliram Rohang, Deputy CEM, BTC Khampa Borgoiary, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohiya, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Bikash Brahma and a host of senior officers and wildlife experts were present at the meeting.