| AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal and members of Assam State Jamiat Ulema undertake a drive to collect funds for the flood-affected in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, July 7: Assam forest minister Rakibul Hussain has directed the forest department to take stringent action against frontline staff who have not reported for duty at Kaziranga National Park.
“Only 63 personnel have joined duty against 150 extra personnel provided by the forest department. I have asked the principal chief conservator of forests to take action against those who have not reported for duty for reasons other than floods in their original place of posting,” Hussain said at a news conference here today.
The directive was issued after it came to light that shortage of manpower had hampered rescue and security operations in Kaziranga, as animals started fleeing to safer areas, making them easy prey for poachers. The park has 525 permanent workers apart from 175 home guards and 100 casual workers.
Hussain said altogether 559 animals, including 14 rhinos, one elephant and 475 hog deer, have perished in the floods. Apart from them, poachers killed three rhinos.
According to the water resources department, the water level was 1.44m above danger level of 74.62m on June 26. The chief minister has sought Rs 20 crore for the forest department from the Centre to tide over the crisis,” Hussain said.
In another flood-related development, a two-member Assam PCC delegation comprising Pradyut Bhuyan and Bobeeta Sharma is on a two-day visit of Jorhat district.
They will visit Majuli tomorrow.
On the other hand, AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal-headed Assam State Jamiat Ulema today launched a fund mobilisation drive in the city to extend relief to the flood-affected.
Over 100 persons have died in the floods.
Ajmal, who is also the chief of Ajmal Foundation, donated Rs 5 lakh to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund yesterday.
He also donated another Rs 5 lakh to the fund on behalf of Markajul Maa Arif, an NGO.