Guwahati: July 9: Authorities of the Kaziranga National Park in Assam’s Golaghat district have started preparations to tackle the flood season as the Brahmaputra river was flowing above the danger level due to torrential rains.
The Park, which is the home to world’s largest one-horned rhino population, shuts for tourists in May so that the officials can prepare for the flood season that starts from June onwards.
A Unesco world heritage site, the Park again reopens in November.
“We are ready for the flood season. We have completed repairing all the 200 highlands inside the park where the animals can take shelter. Meetings were held with NGOs working in and around the park as well as with the local villagers so that the animals can be saved and helped during a high flood like situation,” Park Director P. Shiv Kumar told IANS on Monday.
On Monday, the Central Water Commission (CWC) informed that the Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger level at Nimatighat, Dhansiri, while the Jia Bharali river was overflowing at some places in Sonitpur district.
Kaziranga is bound by the Brahmaputra on its northern end.
“We are expecting the flood waters to enter the park by tomorrow (Tuesday). There have been rains in the upper catchment areas in Arunachal Pradesh but the waters take at least 48 hours to reach here. We are ready and have taken all necessary precautions to deal with the situation,” the Director added.
Another senior park official said: “We have also started implementing a speed limit on the National Highway 37 that touches the southern boundary of the park. The vehicles passing through the park area from Jakhalabandha to Numaligarh have been asked to keep their speed limit maximum to 40 kms/hour so that no animal is hit while crossing the road.”
During the high floods, some animals cross the highway to go to the higher grounds in Karbi Anglong district which is on the other side of the NH37.
In the 2017 floods, over 360 animals drowned due to the floods in Kaziranga, of which 31 were rhinos, according to official data.
This was the highest toll of rhinos in the last three years due to flooding and not poaching.(IANS)