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150 bikers rally to protect rhinos, environment

Kohora, Jan. 10: Altogether 150 bikers today took part in a rally from Golaghat town to Kohora Chariali in Golaghat district in support of the issues regarding Kaziranga National Park and the people living in the fringe areas.

The motorcycle rally was organised by Vox Populi, a Golaghat-based NGO.

It was joined by representatives of various organisations, including All Assam Students’ Union, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad, Assam Chamber of Commerce, All Assam Journalists’ Union, Golaghat Press Club and Discovery Bikers.

Vox Populi president Debojit Phukan said the aim of the rally was to create an awareness about the environment among the people and demand an end to incessant killing of rhinos by creating a Kaziranga Protection Force with the help of local residents.

“We urged the government to form a Kaziranga protection force taking into confidence local youths and the residents of the adjoining areas because nobody knows the national park better than them. This force should be the first line of defence in protecting the park,” Phukan said.

The group demanded that the revenue collected from the park and the cash-rich luxury resorts doing business in Kaziranga should spend at least 5 per cent of their profits under corporate social responsibility for socio-economic uplift of the areas adjacent to the park.

The organisers of the rally also demanded that the necessary measures be taken to develop the infrastructure to promote homestay for tourists visiting the park.

The secretary of Vox Populi, Partha Jyoti Bora, said poaching showed an upward trend from 2007 onwards as 20 in 2007, 16 in 2008, 14 in 2009, 18 in 2010, 5 in 2011, 25 in 2012 and 28 rhinoceros in 2013 have been killed in Kaziranga. It shows the utter failure on the part of the government to protect the pride of Assam.

“Unless the park is made free of illegal immigrants, it will be very difficult to bring an end to poaching,” Bora said.

Kaziranga National Park, however, was once regarded a success stories in the conservation of rhinos in the world.


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