Some Shots...

There was an error in this gadget

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tea garden power fence closes wild elephant shelter in Udalguri

JULY 12:The construction of power fencing around wild elephant habitats and corridors in and around tea gardens in Udalguri district has been decried by wildlife activists and various organizations.Recently,Paneri and Bhutiachang tea gardens under McLeod and Russel group have been erecting permanent power fencing in ther respective tea gardens preventing movements on wild elephant herds numbering more than hundred in Udalguri district raised serious concern.Herds of wild elephants have started arriving at various places of the plains of Udalguri district following age old traditional routes known as elephant corridors and shelters.Such an traditional elephant shelter is Gomari Bagan,located in between Bhutiachang and Paneri tea gardens under McLeod and Russel Ltd. near No.4 Bhutiachang village,where man and wild elephants have been living together for several decades without much conflict.The herds of wild elephants numbering more than hundred in a herd have been taking shelter in Gomari Bagan,a shaddy cool place full of Gomari trees.All the government and forest reserve lands had been encroached and forest cover destroyed by people leaving no room for wild elephants to take shelter,except tea gardens of Udalguri district.So wild elephants like tall tea garden grasslands locally known as Guatemala.They like these tall grasses as it provides them good cover for delivering babies.
The "Elephants on The Line", programme launched in 2014-15 in Udalguri district to create awareness among people in order to minimize man -elephant conflict in the district.The programme was launched by a few wildlife activists of Assam namely-Mubina Akhtar,Jayanta Kumar Das,Dr.KK Sarma,Dipen Boro,Dr.Pranjal Bezbarua,Lisa Mills (USA) etc. in association with Deputy Commissioner and DFO of Udalguri district.The programme members also involved tea garden managements working in the district namely-McLeod Russel Ltd,Goodricke Tea,Tata Tea etc in the conservation of wild elephants and also to create awareness among villagers so as to minimize casualities of both man and wild elephants.Accordingly,tea garden managements were requested to support by providing free passage,shelter,drinking water tanks or ponds and temporary habitats for wild elephants in respective gardens.They were also requested to hire at least one domestic Kunki elephant to protect houses of workers as well as the villagers.Most of the tea garden managements namely-Nonaipara and Orangajuli of Goodricke India; Bhutiachang and Paneri under McLeod Russel Ltd;Majuli TE under Tata Amalgamated offered cooperation for the cause.The result was amazinly positive.As a result of the hard works of the members of "Elephants on The Line", death rate of wild elephants came down drastically to three only in 2017,while the numbers of death were 23 in 2014,21 in 2015,8 in 2016 and only 3 in 2017 (till now).
Unfortunately,the changing situation in 2017 has now posing problems for wild elephant herds.It is noticed that Paneri tea garden has already blocked entry of wild elephants by erecting power fence. Bhutiachang tea garden too is now constructing power fence there by blocking entry of wild elephants to Gomari Bagan.Thirty percent of construction has already been completed, forcing wild elephants to roam in the nearby villages,which is likely to increase conflict between man and elephants. Wildlife activist Rajen Boro of Bhutiachang told this correspondent that Gomari Bagan must not be fenced as loosing the age old traditional shelter,wild elephant might create havoc in nearby villages.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Illegal construction on MB road causes concern

The Mangaldai-Bhutiachang (MB) road has been the lifeline for people living in Darrang and Udalguri districts since pre-independence days.The road connects Mangaldai town (NH 15)with all the important places of Udalguri district including Kalaigaon,Tangla, Paneri,Bhutiachang and Samrang on India-Bhutan border.MB road has also been mostly used by Indian Army's Brigade HQ at Hatigarh.The historic road was newly constructed a few years back from Mangaldai town to Samrang near Bhutan.MB road has also been declared as a State Highway.Unfortunately,the vital road has been blocked at several places in Kalaigaon town by anti social elements.A few businessman,contractors and shop owners have been using the MB road and attached foot paths as own parking places for trucks and tractors,storage grounds for sand and bricks causing much sufferings to pedestrians specially to school going students and woman.Some of the encroacher even have done permanent constructions on the foot paths of MB road for the expansion of their commercial establishments.The eastern approach to the RCC bridge across Noa river in the heart of Kalaigaon town has been totally blocked for years with heaps of sands,stones etc.Although citizens of Kalaigaon have made several representations to the district civil and police administration,no actions were taken so far to evict the encroachment on the sate highway.It is learned that approval from BTC had not arrived for several years.Members of various public organisations of Kalaigaon namely-Kalaigaon Press Club;Nagarik Manch, Kalaigaon;No.2 Kalaigaon Mahila and Sishu Kalyan Samiti; Aryabhatta Science Centre,Kalaigaon etc urged district civil administration and BTC authority to evict all the encroachment on MB road with immediate effect.

Noted astronomy activist of Assam UN Deka passes away

Noted astronomy activist of NE and secretary of Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers Association,Guwahati Planetarium Uday Narayan Deka breathed his last in the ICU in International Hospital, Guwahati today at 12.20 am.He had been suffering from kidney related ailments for last twenty days.He was born on September 8 in 1944.He had been working in RBI in Mumbai for twelve years till his joining in RBI Guwahati branch as a Manager.During his stay in Mumbai,he was elected as the Hony. Treasurer of Bombay Amateur Astronomers Association.In 2002 he was elected as the secretary of the Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers Association, Guwahati Planetarium.He was responsible for organising village level astronomy workshops in Assam as well as in other states in NE.He was also closely associated with Assam Science Technology & Environment Council,(ASTEC),Guwahati,Assam Science Society and Regional Science Centre,Khanapara.He was instrumental in arranging more than two hundred astronomical telescopes given to Aryabhatta Science Centres in Assam by ASTEC.He was cremated in Nabagraha crematorium this afternoo.Dr.Arup Kumar Misra, Director,ASTEC;Prof.Anil Kumar Goswami,former Director,ASTEC;Dr.Chandrarekha Mahanta,Vice president,PRAAG;Babul Bora, Curator, Guwahati Planetarium etc had attended the funeral and offered floral tribute to late UN Deka who leaves behind his wife and two daughters.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Conservation Award to Udalguri tea gardens

Bhootiachang and Paneri tea gardens of Udalguri district under MacLeod Russel India have been awarded 'Elephants Conservation Award 2014' recently at a ceremony at Nonai Forest Range Office on June 13. The award was launched last year by Elephants on the Line,a programme organized by a few elephant loving people and officials of USA,Bhutan and India last year for the conservation of wild elephants and to work jointly for mitigation of man-elephant conflict in Udalguri villages district bordering Bhutan. The one year programme was supported by North Carolina State University,USA in association with Udalguri administration and Dhansiri Forest Division,Udalguri. The programme has promoted solving of India-Bhutan trans border conservation issues.It also opened up windows of cooperation among civil,forest and people of both the countries since July 2014. The award ceremony which was held at Nonai Forest Range Office was conducted by EOL Assam coordinator J.K.Das. Sadhana Hojai,Deputy Commissioner presented the 'Elephant Conservation Award 2014' to AK Sing,Senior Manager of Bhootiachang tea garden while noted journalist and Managing Editor of DY365 Pranay Bordoloi (Also the Hony.Member of Assam Wildlife Board) presented the award to Wasim Haque of Paneri tea garden.
DC Hojai expressed her satisfaction at the good works done by the tea gardens.She also appealed all the tea gardens of the district to work hard to mitigate HEC in Udalguri and to plant as much as trees in vacant lands to prevent further encroachment.Pranoy Bordoloi assured EOL members all possible help and cooperation for the conservation of flora and fauna of Assam. He requested EOL for its expansion on all Assam level. AK Sing ,Senior Manager of Bhootiachang tea garden while thanking EOL members,district administration and forest department for the award assured that their tea gardens would do more good works for the conservation and welfare of both wild elephants and villagers. On the issue he assured to sponsor two domestic Kunki elephant to be deployed in HEC villages.
The award presentation ceremony was attended by several distinguished people including- GN Adhikari, DFO,Dhansiri Forest Division,Udalguri;Mubina Akhtar, EOL Core Member and Hony.Member of Assam Wildlife Board; Dipen Boro,EOL Core Member and Central Vice President,ABSU etc.It needs mentioning that a two days workshop on GPS/GIS/RS was also arranged by Elephants on the Line for EOL and forest officials which was conducted by Pranjit Sarma and Bipul Das of Aranyak, Assam on June 12 and 13 at Nonai Forest Range Office.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Indo-Bhutan border:World Environment Day was observed in various places of Bhergaon sub-division in Udalguri district on June 5 with variety of programmes. In Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary near Indo-Bhutan border,the day was celebrated with a district level workshop on identification of local plants and habitat. It was organised jointly by “Elephants on the Line” and forest staff of Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary. Dr.Pranjal Bezbarua conducted the day long workshop which was inaugurated by wildlife activist Jayanta Kumar Das at 10 am.Twenty members of EOL and five forest officials of Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary participated in the programme.NC Thakuria,Range Officer,Bornadi WLS attended it as the guest of honour. Speaking on the occasion the Range Officer spoke on severe human elephant conflict with special reference to Udalguri and Bhutan where more than sixty people and twenty eight wild elephants have died in last three years. According to him herds of wild elephants come down to Udalguri villages adjunct to Bhutan hills not because of food or water but the safety of the new born babies, as the new born babies can not walk on muddy and sleepery hilly lands in Bhutan. He requested all to join hands to minimize HEC casualities in the district by creating awareness among people.
Dipen Boro,central vice president of ABSU and Buddhi Ram Boro,former advisor of ABSU district committee also attended the workshop as invited guests. The sanctuary authority took all the participants inside the sanctuary for a technical session.The participants planted a few saplings in the sanctuary on the occasion of WED.
WE Day was also observed centrally at Khalingduar Reserve Forest neat Bhutan border. Dhansiri Forest Division,Udalguri organized the programme at Nonai Range Office. Man-elephant conflict being the burning issue in the district,massive plantation programme specially with elephant fodder species were planted of the periphery of Khalingduar Reserve Forest. As per traditional system, a worship to wild elephants was organized inside the forest before the plantation programme. Sadhana Hojai,DC,Udalguri; Suresh Tanti,MCLA,BTC; GN Adhikari, DFO,Udalguri;SDO (C) and SDPO,Bhergaon sub-division; army officers of Hatigarh army camp; SSB officers of 23 and 37 BN; tea garden managers of Bhutiachang, Nonaipara and Borongajuli were among those attended the programme beside students and villagers of the locality. At Kalaigaon DN Hazarika ,Circle Officer,Kalaigaon Revenue Circle organized WED celebration with day long programme.A mini garden named -“Mor Kon Bagicha” was inaugurated by Utpal Sarma.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Nature lovers of US-Bhutan-India working for mitigation of "Man-elephant Conflict" in Assam

Udalguri district bordering Bhutan has been badly hit by human - elephant conflict (HEC) since last five years. As per latest data 13 people and 8 wild elephants in 2012, 19 people and 10 wild elephants in 2013 and 22 people and 7 wild elephants have been killed in Udalguri district alone which has drawn world wide attention as the highest HEC zone in Asia. The district shares 53 KM international border with Bhutan and 14 interstate border with Arunachal Pradesh. Most of the wild herds in big herds generally come down from Bhutan hills to plains of Udalguri following 12/14 age old elephant corridors since time immemorial. Girindra Adhikari, DFO,Dhansiri Forest Division,Udalguri confirms this. Wild elephants start visiting Indo-Bhutan trans boundary villages in April/May and return back to Bhutan hills in November/December every year. People call this seasonal migration.
Unfortunately due to massive deforestation and encroachment on forest lands, most the traditional elephant corridors have been blocked. Establishment of Army or SSB camps on such corridors badly effected elephants movement in the district. Electrocution,food poisoning, and unscientific tea garden ditches are some of the major causes of elephants deaths. On the other hand most of the human casuality occurred due to ignorance and illiteracy. People try to chase away hungry and thirsty wild elephants during night in order to protect their crops and houses.But with no training and equipments they just fall prey to some loner wild elephants.
A few nature loving people of Assam,USA and Bhutan successfully organized an international level conservation program known as “Elephants on the Line: (EOL) on July 24 in 2014.The program have been supported by Nth Carolina State University, USA; USFWS, Asian Elephant Support,Riddles Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary; Dhansiri Forest Division, Udalguri and Udalguri district administration. Since then officials and members of the EOL have been giving training villagers living in the HEC villages near India-Bhutan border. Colorful posters and brochures in different languages have been distributed telling dos and don'ts.Awareness meetings have been organized so as to create awareness among village people. EOL workers have been provided with powerful solar torch lights,GPS, binoculars, laptops, cameras, night vision monocular etc for tracking the movements of the wild elephants. The program serves as a guide for significant community based conservation projects, involving education, training, HEC prevention as short term goals while afforestation,fringe population welfare,creation of elephant refuges and reinstating corridors for safe elephant movements remain some of the long term initiatives. Wild elephants mostly take refuge in Paneri, Bhootiachang, Hatigarh and Majuli tea gardens in the district during their seasonal migration to Assam district. In the meantime Bhootiachang and Paneri tea gardens under MclLeod Russel Co and Nonaipara tea garden under Goodricke Co have taken up a few elephant friendly activities in their respective gardens by arranging drinking water for wild elephants. Recently a team of conservation activists and journalists namely- Jayanta Kumar Das, Assam EOL Coordinator; Mubina Akhtar, Member Assam Wildlife Board and Core member EOL;Dipen Boro, Vice President ABSU and Core Member EOL; Samudra Gupta Kashyap of Indian Express and Bijay Sankar Bora of The Tribune visited HEC areas on May 5 and May 6. They had discussion with DC and DFO of Udalguri on May 5. They had another meeting with DFO,Udalguri and other forest officials at Nonai Range Office at 11 AM on May 6.They had another meeting with Paran Das,Senior Manager,Nonaipara tea garden and Abid Rahman,Senior Manager,Borongajuli tea garden at Nonaipara tea garden to discuss role of tea gardens in mitigating HEC and to arrange temporary shelter for wild elephants to minimize deaths of human as well as wild elephants in the district.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wild elephants kill 4 in Udalguri.Baby elephant electrocuted.

Man-elephant conflict has taken a serious turn in Udalguri district following deaths of four more persons at Coramore near India-Bhutan border last night on July 14. One wild elephant has also been found dead at Gitibari near Paneri.So far 10 people have been killed by wild elephants this year in the district. According to information a wild elephant of a herd killed Dhira Digol (32),son of late Bhabani Digol, Simon Digol (40),son of Haridas Digol, Victor Ekka (30) son of Thomas Ekka at Coramore last night while trying to chase away wild elephants. On the otherhand one Budhin Mura (45) son of Bijoy Mura was also killed last night by the same wild elephant at Bongurum just one km away. All the persons died on spot.In another incident,one baby wild elephant died at Gitibari near Paneri due to electrocution. Nature loving people of Udalguri urge CCF,BTC immediately to take steps to protect lives and property of the villagers and to ensure safety of wild elephants.In the mean time Sadhana Hojai,Deputy Commissioner,Udalguri has taken initiative to mitigate “Man-elephant conflict” in the district in cooperation with Bhutan forest officials and elephant experts of India and Assam.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kalaigaon child scientists topped district science competition at Udalguri

Child scientists of Kalaigaon block have won five of the six awards in the district level science based competition held at Udalguri HSS on May 29. The competition was organized by Udalguri district administration under the aegis of Assam Science Technology & Environment Council (ASTEC). Sadhana Hojai,Deputy Commissioner, Udalguri formally inaugurated the district level science competition at 11 am. On the occasion she appreciated the child scientists of the district for showing innovative talents in the field of science and technology. She also announced that she would personally sponsor five child scientists for a science exposure tour to Kolkata which was applauded by all present. Dibakor Doley,ADC,Udalguri attending the programme as the distinguished guest expressed pleasure to meet child scientists. He told students that all the top inventors of the world had never been a scientist in their early life but had dedication and innovative ideas.
It needs mention that Aryabhatta Science Centre of six blocks in the district namely- Kalaigaon, Khoirabari, Bhergaon,Udalguri,Rowta and Mazbat had organised block level science based- extempore speech,poster drawing and model competitions last months in respective blocks and first three winners in each category took part in the district level competition. In the science based model competition Dolly Saharia and Akashi Deka of Kalaigaon Girls HS (Kalaigaon block) won first prize while Monpreet Kaur and Henrita Boro of Arunodoi Academy,Tangla (Kalaigaon Block) won second prize. In the science based poster drawing Seema Ujir of Sacred Heart School (Rowta block) won first while Himanta Biswa Deka of Arunodoi Academy,Tangla (Kalaigaon block) won second prize. In the science based extempore speech competition Rimjim Chaliha of Arunodoi Academy,Tangla and Swapna Baroi of Bright Life English HS (both Kalaigaon block) won forst and second prizes respectively. All the winners will take part in the state level Aryabhatta Science Centre competition to be organised by ASTEC at Srimanta Sankardeb Kala Khetra on July 9 and 10. Noted artist of Assam Rabi Ram Brahma conducted the science based poster drawing competition while senior lecturers -Dr, Rohit Daimary, Jadabendra Roy and Naba Kumar Baishya of Udalguri college conducted the science model competition. Photo shows Sadhana Hojai,DC and Dibakor Doley,ADC Udalguri talking to child scientists at Udalguri HSS on May 29.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tangla students shine in HS & HSLC

The students of Tangla have shown excellence in recently declared HS and HSLC examinations. Hridoijyoti Ojah and Nishamoni Sarma of National Pioneer Jr.College,Tangla have secured 5th and 9th position in the HS (commerce stream) bringing glory to not only Tangla but to Udalguri district. Total 332 students appeared in Arts and Commerce stream. 87 passed in first division ( 8 students with distinction marks, 24 with star marks and 185 with letter marks); 122 in second division and 111 in third division.The success percentage was 99 percent. Students of Arunodoi Academy Junior Science College,Tangla also performed very well in science stream with hundred percent success. Out of 87 students appeared,76 passed in first division ( 5 students with star marks) and 11 in second division with none in third division. Punkha Narzary topped the successful candidates with 80 percent marks.
In HSLC examination students of Arunodoi Academy, Tangla showed excellent result with hundred percent success. Out of 50 students appeared 28 passed in first division ( 5 with distinction marks,7 with star marks ); 22 in second division and none in third division. Tangla English Medium High School students performed very well in HSLC examination this year too with 99 percent success. Out of 52 appeared, 30 passed in first division ( three with distinction marks and 8 with star marks),20 in second division and 1 in third division. Syad Parvizul Islam,Principal,National Pioneer Jr.College ;Pranab Jyoti Das, Principal, Arunodoi Academy Junior Science College; Napoleon Daimary,Principal of Arunodoi Academy HS and Kandeswar Deka,Principal of Tangla English Medium HS expressed happiness saying that the good result of Tangla students was significant in the sense that the district had been infested heavily with frequent bandhs, extremist activities etc.