News update Assam: Kaziranga National Park (KNP) got additional land that was made eviction free in 2016 as per Gauhati High Court's order. After verification of records in the office of SDO Civil Koliabor, the evicted land at Bandardubi and Deosur was formally handed over to Kaziranga National Park authority. The 525 hectares of land was lying unattended since the last four years since the eviction. It was also alleged that illegal settlers had returned to occupy these areas and they had started farming on the land. No survey, demarcation or such work had been done in the past since 2016 but the KNP authority under the leadership of Director P. Shivakumar initiated surveys and other formalities in the early months this year. With close coordination along the civil administration, the works were underway to complete the handing over and taking over procedures of the land.
Few months back, the KNP authority also carried out a waterfowl survey in the areas under the Baghmari forest camp for the first time after freeing the area of encroachers in 2016. And the results were favourable - a total of 355 water birds belonging to various species and families were recorded in the previously encroached areas. After the eviction in 2016, the area was gradually becoming preferred home of wild flora and fauna of the national park. Along with that, other birds and animals belonging to vulnerable and endangered categories were also recorded recently in these previously encroached areas. KNP Director P. Shivakumar told that even animals seemed to be celebrating after this good news. Forest officials stated that the newly-added Bandardubi area would be under Bagori range and the Deosur area would be under Burapahar range of the National Park. A total land of 297.45 hectares is at Bandordubi, whereas 16.4 hectares is at Deosur now. The handing over of additional land to Kaziranga National Park authorities by civil administration of Nagaon district incorporating areas of Bandordubi and Deosur area cleared from encroachment in 2016 is indeed a bold step taken by the Assam Government to secure the future of KNP which is also a World Heritage Site.