Officials evasive on “complex issues”
DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 3: While land encroachment, especially on Government properties is not a new thing in Nagaland, the issue of encroachment within Intanki National Park (INP) has always made news. However, the issue has been lying at the Chief Secretary level for quite some time.
When media persons asked the Chief Wildlife Warden, Ved Pal Singh about the issue of encroachment within Intanki National Park, he said that the issue cannot be “summarized in few sentences and that it “cannot be replied in yes or no”.
On the Government’s efforts to stop encroachment in the INP, he said the issue is at the Chief Secretary’s level and is being dealt earlier and they would try to revive it again.
“It is being dealt at the highest level, which indicates Government’s priority, which is giving due attention”, he said.
Stating that it was a complex issue, Singh said these issues take lot of time to get resolved. “We are working on it. Hopefully things will move in right direction”, he added.
Replying to a query on rampant commercialization of animals in the Sate, Commissioner & Secretary, Y Kikheto Sema said the purpose of having the wildlife conservation in Intanki means that the Government is serious about it.
He said 16 villages attended and signed an agreement with the Department to protect the Intanki National Park and the Department is also of the view that it would come forward to assist them in whatever possible way to help them in partnership with the Department.
He also disclosed that this was the first time the Department is having an agreement with the villages. He said they have taken those 16 villages as they surround the National Park.
“What is the use of naming a wildlife national park without having wildlife?” he asked.
Kikheto said they have requested the villages to share information, work with the Government as they have a future vision to start a safari, which would increase their livelihood and they would have sustainable income.
Replying to another query, the Chief Wildlife Warden disclosed that few months back, a study was conducted and 40 camera traps were installed in the INP. He said the study was conducted by NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) and they are happy on the frequency (of animals) recorded.
He said the study is available with the Director. “We still have fairly sizeable wildlife. The camera traps have revealed very encouraging results”, he said.
When asked about the reports that animals of Nagaland Zoological Park has been either sold or given to Ambanis in Gujarat, the Chief Wildlife Warden said clarified that they keep on getting animals from different people who donate them or animals which has suffered injuries.
He said law states that they cannot keep those animals in the Zoo as such there has to be a rehabilitation centre and after than if the animal is fit to be sent to the wild, it is sent or housed there permanently.
“Unfortunately, we do not have such facility in Nagaland”, he said.
He further said that some animals were becoming overcrowded in the zoo so they approached the Central Government and the Central Zoo Authority to find a person/zoo or rehabilitation centre, who are willing to take the animals. “This is how we came across people in Gujarat who were willing to take them. So we requested the Central Zoo Authority to issue requisite permission and based on that the animals which were rescued and which were beyond our capacity to keep them, we transferred to them. It was free of cost. It was more to offload our excess animals, which we were unable to keep”, he explained.
(Page News Service)