Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said that Assam stands out globally due to its rich natural heritage especially by the variety of flora and fauna and the setting up of such a prestigious institute would help in the preservation of rich biodiversity of the state while facilitating scientists and researchers from different parts of the world to carry out their research.
The construction of IWH&R is scheduled to be completed within 2 years at a total approximate cost of Rs 250 crores on a plot of land measuring 120 bighas. It will have departments of Wildlife Health and Diagnostics, Wildlife Forensics, Wildlife Clinical Research, Wildlife Crisis Management and Translocation, Wildlife Informatics, Wildlife Public Policy and Cooperation.
The Chief Minister also laid the foundation stone of Sahitya Manishi Upabon (Biodiversity Park) in Dibrugarh and Charaideo districts virtually. Aiming at conservation and propagation of rare and endangered indigenous species, the Assam government has planned to develop one such biodiversity park in all 24 districts of the state under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act (CAMPA) scheme during 2021-22.
He also launched the People’s Plantation program, which is an effort to generate awareness about tree-plantation and under the initiative, each district unit will identify land where the local people can plant trees of medicinal values as well as indigenous fruit and flower-bearing trees.
Stressing on the preservation of trees, he informed that the state government has planted Rs 10 crore trees in the past four and half years. “Apart from taking steps for protection from flood and land erosion, other wildlife preservation measures have been taken such as making 33 highlands in Kaziranga National Park and minimising incidents of rhino poaching,” he said.
He thanked the people of Laika-Dodhia for their role in the preservation of Dehing-Patkai National Park and said that steps have been taken for their rehabilitation and the state government would provide Rs 1 lakh to each Laika-Dodhia family which would be deposited in their bank accounts after the beneficiary list is submitted by District Collectors of the concerned districts.