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A lakh for man who died saving jumbos

- Minister visits Boro home as organisations appeal for solution to reduce deaths

Borjhar, July 23: Assam forest minister Rakibul Hussain today visited the residence of Kalia Boro in Chakardo Mikirpara, a casual worker with the Guwahati wildlife division, who died after being run over by a train on Sunday.

Boro had dedicated his life to ensure the safe passage of wild elephants across the stretch of a road and tracks near Deepor Beel wildlife sanctuary.

The minister handed over Rs 1 lakh in cash to Boro’s wife Ramila.

Chakardo Mikirpara is in Kamrup (metro) district and about 20km from Guwahati.

Accompanied by senior forest officials, including additional principal chief conservator of forests R.D.S. Tanowar, Hussain ordered them to recruit Boro’s son Ratan in place of his father in the Guwahati wildlife division.

The Guwahati wildlife division was formed in 2006.

“I have ordered Ratan’s recruitment as a casual worker now, but later on the basis of his educational qualifications, the job will be made permanent,” Hussain said.

The minister assured to take up the issue of speeding trains near Deepor Beel with the railway authorities.

Twelve elephants have died after being hit by trains along the 4km stretch of tracks near the waterbody since 2001.

Forest department sources said a joint meeting between the department and the NF Railway authority will be held to chalk out a permanent solution to the problem. “In the parleys, both short-term and long-term measures will be deliberated to find out a permanent solution to the problem of safety for elephants,” D.D. Gogoi, divisional forest officer of Guwahati wildlife division, said.

Hussain also ordered construction of speed-breakers on the road from Rani Patgaon to Gorchuk.

Residents appealed to the forest minister to increase manpower at an anti-poaching camp near Deepor Beel.

Sangrami Krishak Sramik Sangha, a social organisation, however, termed the amount of Rs 1 lakh as a “disgrace to the decades of sacrifice of Kalia Boro”.

“What Boro did as a casual worker cannot be compared. His sacrifice merits befitting treatment,” Dinesh Das, secretary of the Sangha, told this correspondent.

The organisation demanded the NFR authorities and the forest department to come up with a pragmatic solution to the problem of speeding trains in the area and make it a safer place for animals and residents.