Chirang, Bodoland Territorial Area District, Assam, October 31, 2017: In August last year, following the signing and formal issuance of a Final Gazette Notification by the Government of Assam, an area of 350 sq km from the erstwhile Manas Reserve Forest was officially declared as the First Addition to Manas National Park.
The event was a significant milestone in ongoing conservation efforts – led since 2003 by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and the Assam Forest Department – to ‘Bring Back Manas’, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose flora and fauna were ravaged by militancy through the late 1980s and 1990s.
The Chirang Forest Division and IFAW-WTI organised a formal inauguration event to lay a foundation stone marking the First Addition to Manas.
On October 27 the Chirang Forest Division, with IFAW-WTI’s support, organised a formal inauguration event for the First Addition that involved the laying of a foundation stone / first boundary pillar. Signboards on the status of the new addition were also erected in the area to build mass awareness.
Among the dignitaries present at the inauguration were the local MLA Mr Kamalsingh Narzary, the Field Director of Manas Tiger Reserve Mr HK Sarma and the Sub Divisional Officer of Bijni Mr DD Boro. The retired Divisional Forest Officer, the Officer on Special Duty, Bodoland Territorial Council, members of the local Village Council Development Committee, several mediapersons and a gathering of about 250 fringe villagers also attended the function. Members of the IFAW-WTI team, including Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, WTI’s Head Veterinarian (North East) and Head of the IFAW-WTI Greater Manas Recovery Project, were also present on the occasion.
The foundation stone was laid by Mr Kamalsingh Narzary and Mr HK Sarma. It is expected that the erection of boundary pillars and demarcation of the area of the First Addition will be completed by November 30.