Assam Tribune

  • Manas ready to welcome rhinos from KNP

    The picturesque Manas National Park, is going to add another feather to its cap through translocation of rhinos from Kaziranga National Park within three weeks from now. Almost all the preparations required for this purpose are ready and the much-awaited translocation of the animals will be welcomed by the Manas family soon. Talking to a visiting group of reporters in the Bhuyapara Range Office of the Park yesterday Susie Collis, the co-executive director of International Rhino Foundation who led a team to study the facilities for the translocation told that everything is ready and the rhinos would be brought to Manas within three weeks. The IRF team comprises of Rand of Peiches, Kristi Gerord, Frederieke Howard, Oliver Pagan and Turg Vuller. All of them expressed satisfaction at the ongoing reconstruction work going on throughout Manas. Giving details of the translocation Aninda Swargiary, the field director of the Park told that it is a process undertaken under Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 which targets at least 3000 rhino population in India by the stipulated time which is 2020. IRV is funded by several international agencies like US Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS), Inter National Rhino Foundation (IRF) and World Wide Fund (WWF) and in Assam it is mainly executed by the Ministry of Forests and Environment and the Wildlife Development Welfare Trust. Swargiary also informed that though the rhinos were scheduled to be translocated a year back, this had to be postponed owing to several technical and infrastructural problems and finally February 12 was fixed for this purpose. But due to unavailability of Immobilon, the drug necessary for tranquillisation of the animal, it could not be executed. But the clue about the availability of the drug was found of late and it is expected that much awaited dream of the people of Assam would be fulfilled within three weeks. Giving an account of the preparation to welcome the new rhinos, Swargiary told newsmen that as many as thirteen camps have been set up all along the park in addition to existing park camps. Fund for the construction has been received from WWF and the BTAD. Wildlife Development and Welfare Trust has given 80 bicycles, 4 motorbikes, 6 boats, 4 rubber boats and 50 wireless sets for strict vigilance. The flow of funds from concerned agencies will be expedited if work is done on time.

  • Govt honour to Pachauri

    The Assam Government will organize an ovation for Dr. Rajendra K Pachauri whose organization Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was awarded the coveted Nobel Peace Prize 2007 jointly with former American Vice-President Al Gore. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will felicitate Dr Pachauri, on behalf of the State Government at a function to be held at Rabindra Bhawan here at 12 noon on March 4. Dr Pachauri, who is also the Director General, the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), will attend the formal launching of DNA Club in Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura and a workshop on biodiesel at Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati on the same day.

  • Political willingness needed for water management initiative

    No matter all the huge efforts put together by experts and stake holders, proper management of the water resources of the State, including the Brahmaputra, will be a distant dream unless political willingness is accommodated in the water management initiatives. This observation was made by the Non Resident Indian Association of Assam, which has urged all the authorities concerned to take a serious approach to managing the enormous water resources for speedy economic development of the State. In a seminar organised by the NRI Association of Assam recently at its office premises in the city, water resources engineering expert of Texas, USA and hony adviser of river linking project initiated by the Government of Assam, Barada Charan Sarma stressed on the need for political willingness to resolve the problems created by the water resources. He dwelled at length on ways for solution of the devastating flood and erosion problems of Assam, and boosting development activities like power generation by utilising the vast water resources of the Brahmaputra. "To achieve these goals we all should understand that political accommodation will be necessary with regard to the development of the Brahmaputra,' he remarked. Members of the Association who took part in the seminar narrated their experiences verging on the nightmarish at the time of a smart downpour in the capital city. Earlier, Dr Karuna Sagar Das, general secretary of the Association explained its aims and objectives and expressed the NRIs' keen interest to be a part of the welfare activities of their homeland. The seminar was presided over by Dr Anil Ranjan Borthakur, president of the Association.

  • Kulsi dam gets national status

    The Central Government has declared 14 water resources projects as National Projects for which 90 per cent project cost of irrigation and drinking water component of the project is to be provided as Central Grant. The projects include the Kulsi Dam in Assam, Upper Siang and Nao Dihang Dam Projects in Arunachal Pradesh. The Planning Commission would take up the projects after techno-economic appraisal of the Detailed Project Report and Investment clearance. The projects in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh would be funded on the 90:10 basis. The irrigation benefits from these projects is estimated to be about 21 lakh ha apart from additional indirect irrigation benefits and availability of drinking water, said Union Water Resources Minister, Prof Saifuddin Soz, in a Rajya Sabha reply.

  • Smoking to be banned in Gangtok area

    Smoking may now burn more than your lungs, if you happen to do it at the MG Marg here. The State Urban Development and Housing (UD&H) department is mulling a proposal to ban smoking along the MG Marg. The ban comes with a heavy fine for offenders. This decision, which has come a few years after the Marg was declared a "Litter and spit-free zone,' may soon be implemented. This was informed by the department officials at a day-long awareness-cum-capacity building campaign organised for the porters of Gangtok and its surrounding areas here Wednesday. The new rule may come into force once the MG Marg renovation and beautification works are completed. The State Government has banned smoking in public places, but the law has not been implemented in earnest.means during the elections.

  • Rs 5.89 cr allocated to Manipur under calamity relief fund

    An amount of Rs 5.89 crore has been allocated to Manipur under Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) for the year 2007-08 comprising Rs 4.42 crore as Central contribution and Rs 1.47 crore as State contribution. This was stated by V Radhika Selvi, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs. The Union Minister assured that the Government of India would extend all possible assistance to the State for meeting the situation caused by heavy rains and floods in Manipur. She also informed that the execution of rescue and relief operations in the wake of natural calamities was primarily the responsibility of the concerned State Government. The Government of India supplemented the efforts of the concerned State Government by providing requisite logistic and financial support to meet the situation. For the purpose, a Calamity Relief Fund was constituted with contributions of Government of India and the State Government in the ratio 3:1.

  • WHO-recommended steps against tobacco epidemic stressed

    In the 20th century, the tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide. During the 21st century, it could kill one billion, says the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has come up with a six-policy package to counter the tobacco epidemic and reduce its deadly toll. In view of the global tobacco epidemic and the warning issued by WHO, organisations working for the improvement of public health have decided to pressurise the Government to make pictorial warnings mandatory on cigarette packets and other related products. The delay on the part of the union Government to introduce pictorial warnings came in for sharp attack from the Voluntary Health Association of Assam on Sunday. The members of the association while taking the Government to task said the tobacco epidemic has emerged deadlier than HIV/AIDS, as it can kill in many ways. Dr Gautam Borgohain, medical officer of the association, said the cure for the devastating tobacco epidemic was not dependent on medicines or vaccines, but on the concerted actions of the Government and the civil society. "Tobacco use can kill in so many ways that it is a risk factor for six to eight leading causes of death in the world,' said Dr Borgohain. On the other hand, Ruchira Neog, executive secretary of the association said tobacco was the only legal consumer product that harms everyone exposed to it and kills up to half of those who use it. "Though tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death in the world today, its use is wide spread due to low price, lack of awareness about its dangers and aggressive marketing,' said Ruchira stressing the need for applying the WHO recommended measures to control tobacco epidemic. The WHO recommends six policies to reverse the tobacco epidemic. These are

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